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Written by 
P.J. Chapman 
and E.H. Glass 

The First 100 Years 

of the 

New York State 


Experiment Station 

at Geneva, NY 


The First 100 Years 

of the 

New York State 

Agricultural Experiment Station 

at Geneva, NY 

The First 100 Years 

of the 

New York State 

Agricultural Experiment Station 

at Geneva, NY 

Written By P.J. Chapman and E. H. Glass 
Edited by R.E. Krauss 

New York State Agricultural Experiment Station 
Cornell University 
Geneva, NY 


Copyright © 1999 by Cornell University. 

All rights reserved. 

Printed in the United States of America by Syracuse Litho. 

It is the policy of Cornell University actively to support equality of 
educational and employment opportunities. No person shall be denied 
admission to any educational program or activity or be denied employ- 
ment on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination involving, 
but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or 
ethnic origin, sex, age or handicap. The University is committed to the 
maintenance of affirmative-action programs that will assure the con- 
tinuation of such equality of opportunity. 

ISBN 0-9676507-1-2 

No part of this book is to be reproduced in any form or by any means 
without permission in writing from the publisher. 

Cover and Book Design: Elaine Gotham 
Photography Editor: Joe Ogrodnick 
Managing Editor: Linda McCandless 

Published by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station 

630 West North Street, Geneva, NY 14456 


Covers: The front and back book jackets feature a 
selection of images from the Experiment Station 
history, 1882-1982. 

Table of Contents 

Preface ix 

Editor's Note xi 

About the Authors xiii 

Acknowledgements xv 

Chapter I — Beginnings 1 

Chapter II— E. Lewis Sturtevant (1882-1887) 10 

Chapter III— Peter Collier (1887-1895) 20 

Chapter IV— Whitman A. Jordan (1896-1921) 32 

Chapter V— Roscoe E. Thatcher (1921-1927) 51 

Chapter VI— Frank B. Morrison (1927-1928) 63 

Chapter VII— Ulysses P. Hedrick (1928-1937) 66 

Chapter VIII— Percival J. Parrott (1938-1942) 84 

Chapter IX— Arthur J. Heinicke (1942-1960) 96 

Chapter X— Donald W. Barton (1960-1982) 128 

Chapter XI — Organization of Station Research Activities 156 

Chapter XII— Entomology 159 

Chapter XIII— Plant Pathology 186 

Chapter XIV — Food Science and Technology 206 

Chapter XV — Pomology and Viticulture 225 

Chapter XVI — Seed and Vegetable Sciences 254 

Chapter XVII— Integrated Pest Management 275 

Chapter XVIII— Bacteriology (1882-1945) 280 

Chapter XIX— Chemistry (1882-1945) 294 

Chapter XX— Dairying and Related Animal Research (1882-1943) .... 301 


One of the founders of our Nation and a very wise man, Benjamin 
Franklin, wrote: "Agriculture will jin the future} diminish its labor 
and double its productivity." This story, The First 100 Years of the New 
York State Agricultural Experiment Station, provides the reader with an 
example of how one of the first agricultural experiment stations in the 
United States (and the first to conduct agricultural research) was 
established, evolved into a first-class research institute, and provided 
farmers with the information and technology to enable them to produce 
food and fibre with "diminished" labor and "doubled productivity." 

It also provides an account of the evolution and coordination of rela- 
tions between the 1882 fledgling New York State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station at Geneva and the Cornell University's Experiment Station 
at Ithaca from competing and non-cooperating units to the integrated 
and collaborating institutions of 1982. The book also highlights some of 
the significant contributions of the Geneva Station staff to science, 
agriculture, and human health and welfare. 

P.J.C. and E.H.G. 


Editor's Note 

This history of the first 100 years of the Geneva Station was written 
by two of the institution's most distinguished professors — Paul J. 
Chapman and Edward H. Glass. Chapman was actually asked to write 
this history in 1980 by the Director at the time, Donald W. Barton. It 
was to have been ready for distribution at the time of the centennial 
celebration of the Station in 1982. 

However, being the scientist that he was, Chapman quickly found that 
writing a history of the Experiment Station was quite similar to con- 
ducting a scientific experiment. The deeper he got into the subject, the 
more facts he uncovered, had to confirm, and then put in some kind of 
logical sequence for presenting to the reader. Consequently, it was 
impossible for the history of the first 100 years of the Station to be 
finished by the time of the centennial celebration. 

Before his death in 1993, "Chappie," as he was known to his colleagues 
and friends, asked a fellow entomologist and long-time member of the 
Station faculty, Edward H. Glass, to help him complete the history. 
Glass spent the next five years, before and after Chappie's death at the 
age of 93, completing the book. Glass approached his assignment in 
much the same way as did Chapman, carefully checking every fact that 
appears in the final text, including the chapters that had already been 
written in draft form. 

Readers will enjoy this history, for it contains many humorous and 
sometimes even poignant stories about various individuals who were 
part of the Station family. Such stories were possible only because 
Chapman was associated with the Station for more than 60 years and 
Glass for 50 years. They have woven many of these vignettes about 
various individuals into the different chapters, again carefully checking 
their authenticity. Also of interest to the reader will be the writing style 
of both authors. It is very distinctive and, in editing, has been carefully 
preserved because it represents the style so prevalent during the period 
that this history covers. 

The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station is recognized as 
one of the premiere horticultural research institutes in the world. This 
history reflects both the good and bad times that have occurred over the 
years. We are sure the reader will enjoy learning about not only the 
scientific accomplishments of the Station, but about the people who 
made the Station what it is today. Enjoy! 

R. E. Krauss, Editor 


About the Authors 

In 1992, Paul and Mrs. Chapman made a contribution to Cornell University 
establishing a graduate Student Fellowship in the Department of Entomology. 
Paul (right) is pictured here with former department head and co-author, 
Edward H. Glass (left), and the plaque commemorating the fellowship. 

Senior author Paul 
Chapman was born in 
California in 1900. He earned his 
bachelor of science degree from 
Oregon State University in 1922 
and then headed east to be an 
assistant in entomology and plant 
pathology for Cornell University 
in Genesee and Wyoming coun- 
ties of New York State. He also 
enrolled in a doctorate program at 
Cornell and was awarded his 
Ph.D. degre in entomology in 
1928. He left Cornell briefly to 
work as an entomologist at the 
Virginia Truck Crop Experiment 
Station, but returned to Cornell 
University's New York State 
Agricultural Experiment Station 
at Geneva in 1930. He was hired 
as a full professor. He was just 29 
years of age and probably is still 
the youngest full professor ever to 
be hired by Cornell. He remained 
at Geneva for the rest of his 
distinguished career conducting 
research on fruit pests and their 
interaction with their hosts. He 
and a Station chemist developed a 

new class of horticultural spray 
oils in the late 1930s that was 
effective against mites and which 
is still being used by the industry 
today. Chapman also served as 
chairman of the Station's depart- 
ment of entomology for 17 years, 
from 1948 until 1968. Noteworthy 
here is that he brought an inter- 
disciplinary look to the Geneva 
entomology department by hiring 
a non-entomologist (biochemist) 
to conduct research on insect 
pheromones. Although he 
officially retired in 1968, he 
remained actively involved in 
continuing his research program, 
in writing, and in serving as a 
mentor for young members of the 
entomology faculty. He was 
commissioned to write this 
history of the Station in 1980. He 
was still working on it when he 
died at the age of 93 in 1993. 

Edward H. Glass is the 
co-author of this outstand- 
ing monograph on the history of 
the first 100 years of the Geneva 

Experiment Station. Like 
Chapman, he was also an ento- 
mologist in his professional 
career, working in the areas of 
integrated pest management, 
biology and control of fruit 
insects, insect diapause, use of sex 
pheromones for orchard insect 
monitoring and control, and later 
in life in the area of international 
crop protection. Born in 1917 in 
Lexington, Massachusetts, Glass 
was raised on a family farm. He 
obtained his bachelor of science 
degree in entomology from the 
University of Massachusetts, his 
master's degree from Virginia 
Polytechnic Institute, and his 
doctorate degree in entomology in 
1943 from Ohio State University. 
Before joining the New York State 
Agricultural Experiment Station 
as an associate professor in 1948, 
he spent five years in industry 
working with the American 
Cyanamid Company, where he set 
up cooperative research programs 
with universities. At the Station, 
he was promoted to full professor 
in 1955. In addition to his out- 
standing research program that 
was recognized locally, nationally, 
and internationally, Glass suc- 
ceeded Paul Chapman as chair- 
man of the Station's department 
of entomology in 1969 and 
remained in that position until his 
retirement in 1982. Like 
Chapman, Glass remained 
extremely active following 
retirement, especially in the field 
of international pest protection 
programs. He was asked by 
Chapman to finish writing the 
history of the Geneva Station not 
too long before Chapman's death 
in 1993. 

Authors Acknowledgements 

Because of Paul Chapman's death in 1993 before he could complete 
the work, the following is my attempt to acknowledge the apprecia- 
tion of both authors for the contributions and help of the many people 
who have aided us in the preparation and publication of this book. We 
are indebted, firstly, to former Director of the Station, Donald W. Barton, 
for initiating the project and to the current Director, James Hunter, for 
his continuing support, both verbally and financially. 

The following is only a partial list of who has contributed to and 
supported the project in different ways: 

In the photography unit of Communications Services at the Geneva 
Station, Joe Ogrodnick and Rob Way were tremendously helpful in 
finding and preparing appropriate illustrations for the final manuscript. 
Special thanks are given to Elaine Gotham for her skill and efforts in 
designing and preparing the final digital copy for the printer. And, we 
are indebted to retired long-term directors' assistant, Mary Lou 
Dumbleton, for her able assistance in helping to select photographs for 
the publication and in proofreading the final publication. Faculty and 
other Station personnel have also been very generous in reviewing draft 
copies related to their specialties for accuracy and comments. 

Very special credit and thanks are given to R. E. (Pat) Krauss, former 
Station Editor. He has assisted both authors in many ways during the 
writing and, especially, in the final editing and related activities associ- 
ated with the preparation of the manuscript. It is doubtful that the 
project would have reached fruition without his editorial skills, enthusi- 
asm, drive, and organizational abilities. 

Finally, special credit must be given to the entire faculty and staff of the 
Experiment Station. Their many valuable contributions of new ideas, 
methods, and excellent research have made this station what it is, one of 
the leading horticultural research institutes in the world. They, in fact, 
wrote this history of a great institution. 

Paul J. Chapman 
Edward H. Glass 
October 1999 





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Agricultural research institutions had their origin in Eu- 
rope in the 1840s and 1850s. The first of these some- 
what comparable to the American publicly-supported 
state agricultural experiment stations was one established in 
Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1843. The Rothamsted Experimental Sta- 
tion of Harpenden, England, was also established in 1843. Today, 
it is generally recognized as being the oldest Station in continu- 
ous operation in the world. It did not serve as the organizational 
model for the American state stations, however, for it was wholly 
supported by private funds over its first 69 years. Today, the re- 
search work conducted here is largely financed by annual grants 
from the Food Research Council. 1 The Edinburgh station and one 
founded in 1852 at Moeckern in the Province of Saxony, Germany, 
served as the principal models for the eventual establishment of 
the state stations in America. 

Act of Legislation authorizing the 
New York State Agricultural 
Experiment Station. 

The Edinburgh station was founded through the collaborative ef- 
forts of the directors of the Highland Agricultural Society and J. F. 
W. Johnston, a professor of chemistry at Durham University. 
Johnston was well known to Society members from the fertilizer 
tests he conducted and his lectures on agricultural chemistry. For 
some time the Society had encouraged its members to conduct 
experiments on their farms. By 1830 many were so engaged. 
Then, in 1840, the famed German chemist, Justus von Liebig, 
published a 387-page book entitled Organic Chemistry and its Ap- 
plication to Agriculture and Physiology. The message found here 
and in other publications at this time had a marked effect on Soci- 
ety directors. They decided future tests conducted by its mem- 
bers must meet "scientific" standards. It was at this juncture that 
Professor Johnston elected to speak out. He maintained experi- 
mentation having any lasting value to agriculture could only 
come from those professionally trained to conduct it. Finally, he 
said Scottish agriculture would be best served by establishing a 
research institution staffed by scientists. About two years elapsed 
before Society directors decided to try out his recommendations. 

To this end the "Agricultural Chemistry Association of Scotland" 
was formed. From membership dues paid by farmers and others, 
sufficient funds were raised to acquire a laboratory and a scientist 
to conduct the work. Not surprisingly, the scientist selected was 
Professor Johnston. The work done here consisted mostly of the 
analysis of fertilizer samples supplied by Association members. 
Other activities included determinations of the chemical compo- 
sition of fertilizers, soils, waters, and plant products. 

News of the laboratory's founding and successful operation soon 
reached America. It greatly interested English- and Scottish- 
trained Benjamin Silliman, a distinguished professor of chemistry 
at Yale University. It lead him, in fact, to place one of his students, 
J. P. Norton, in Johnston's laboratory in 1844. Norton remained 
there 18 months. Upon his return he was appointed a professor of 
agricultural chemistry at Yale. Norton had reached some rather 
definite conclusions about what he believed was needed for agri- 
culture in America in the fields of both research and education. 
He favored the establishment of agricultural colleges staffed with 
professors having either full-time teaching or full-time research 

Norton accepted every opportunity to present his ideas before 
farm and other audiences. The results of his efforts, in Connecti- 
cut and in the other New England states, were disappointing. He 
found farmers opposed to sending their sons away from home 
for schooling and, generally, rejected the idea that book farming, 
as they called it, had anything useful to offer. Turning to New 
York, which he hoped would be more receptive to his offerings, 
Norton fared little better. However, he at least found better ap- 
preciation here of his rather exceptional speaking and writing 
abilities. Unfortunately, Norton's brilliant career came to an 
abrupt end with his death in 1852 at age 30. 2 

The cause Norton promoted so actively, however, lived on in 
some of his students at Yale. Samuel W. Johnson was one of these. 
In 1853, he decided to go to Germany for further training, and 
hopefully to work in von Liebig's laboratory. Awaiting an open- 
ing there he, by chance, visited the Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tion at Moeckern in the province of Saxony. He was greatly im- 
pressed by what he saw. In fact, he appears to have decided then 
and there to dedicate himself to the founding of a comparable in- 
stitution in Connecticut. Upon returning home in 1855, Johnson 
acquired a staff position at Yale University From this operational 
base he then launched what proved to be a long campaign before 
he achieved his objective. This was: the founding in Connecticut 

of an independent state-funded institution devoted exclusively to 
the conduct of agricultural research. 

Success finally came to Johnson in Connecticut; partially, in 1875; 
fully so, in 1877. On the former date, the Connecticut Legislature 
appropriated $2,800, for two years, to the Wesleyan University at 
Middletown, "to be used. carry on appropriate work of an ag- 
ricultural experiment station." After the two years had passed, 
the legislature decided it would be better to give the station inde- 
pendent status. This was done in 1877 when it became the Con- 
necticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Quite appropriately 
Johnson was named its first director. The station became perma- 
nently located at its present site, New Haven, in 1882. 3 

In the foregoing reports, we have seen the dominant role that 
chemists played in the founding of both the first European and 
the first American station. The professional staffs of these two in- 
stitutions were limited to chemists. In fact, a good case can be 
made for the claim that the Experiment Station movement had its 
origin out of the emergence of agricultural chemistry as a sub- 
discipline of chemistry. Pioneers in this development were: J. F. 
W. Johnston of Scotland; J. B. Lewis and Joseph Gilbert of the pri- 
vately funded Rothamsted Experimental Station in England; Jus- 
tin von Liebig and Adolph Stockhardt (the first director of the 
Moeckern Station) in Germany; Benjamin Silliman of Yale Univer- 
sity; and J. F. Norton, S. W. Johnson and Wilbur Atwater, who re- 
ceived their training at Yale. (While E. Lewis Sturtevant, the 
Geneva Station's first director, was a botanist, the next five direc- 
tors, including an Acting Director, all were chemists.) 

Another individual who was a pioneer in the American Experi- 
ment Station movement was E. Lewis Sturtevant. In 1867, he and 
his two brothers, Joseph and Thomas, purchased a farm at South 
Framingham, Massachusetts. It was called the Waushakum Farm. 
All of the brothers were interested in developing the property 
into a combination model dairy farm and an agricultural research 
center. The talents of the brothers differed. Just what Thomas did, 
apparently, has not been recorded. Joseph became active in the af- 
fairs of the Massachusetts State Agricultural Board, chairing some 
of their committees. One committee investigated the operation of 
the Massachusetts Agricultural College; another, the agricultural 
research accomplishments. 

E. Lewis was interested, primarily, in conducting research. He un- 
dertook studies in two areas: the Ayrshire breed of dairy cattle; 
and vegetable and field crops. In 1875, E. Lewis and Joseph pub- 

Denton Farm home and barns 
purchased for new Agricultural 
Experiment Station. 

lished a 252-page monograph on the Ayrshires. E. Lewis became 
much interested in breeding maize (corn). He eventually intro- 
duced the Waushakum variety of corn which became a very 
popular variety in the Northeast. 4 

While he left most agricultural politics to his brother, E. Lewis be- 
came well known from his writings and speaking engagements. 
In 1878 he took over a farm journal, the Scientific Farmer. This pro- 
vided him with a place to publish the results of his research and 
to express his views on a variety of agricultural subjects. 

In the June 1879 issue of Scientific Farmer, he proposed the estab- 
lishment of a national agricultural scientists' association. Actu- 
ally, this idea did not originate with him. It was first proposed by 
his brother, Joseph, in 1873. Joseph offered his plan that year for 
consideration by the Massachusetts State Agricultural Board. The 
Board, however, took no action on his proposal, and it received 
little public attention thereafter. 

Unlike his brother, however, E. Lewis discussed the needs of an 
association from the standpoint of a scientist. The plan he pro- 
posed was well received, generally, by his colleagues. One of the 
more enthusiastic supporters was William J. Beal, a professor of 
botany and horticulture at Michigan Agricultural College. He had 
been promoting a plan similar to Sturtevant's with a small group 
of prominent agricultural scientists. Beal and Sturtevant soon de- 
veloped a close working relationship. They decided later to invite 
the scientists on Beal's list to attend an association organizational 
meeting at the annual meeting of the American Pomological Soci- 

At their meeting, the Sturtevant-Beal group established a provi- 
sional Agricultural Scientists' Association. A selected list of agri- 
cultural scientists was then sent a pamphlet setting forth the ob- 
jectives of the Association. (It was similar in content to the Scien- 


tific Farmer statement Sturtevant had published earlier.) Along 
with the pamphlet, an invitation was extended to attend the first 
meeting of the new society in Boston, a day before the 1880 meet- 
ing of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 
The AAAS meeting was well attended, and the new agricultural 
society was officially established. It became named the "Society 
for the Promotion of Agricultural Science." For the part he had 
played in the founding of the Society, Sturtevant became well 
known and highly respected by his peers. 5 

The success achieved by Samuel Johnson in founding the Con- 
necticut Station inspired farm leaders and agricultural scientists 
in other states to take similar action. A bill to establish a Station in 
New York was introduced in the Legislature of 1877. It failed pas- 
sage as did a similar one in 1878. Following these setbacks, mem- 
bers of the Department of Agriculture at Cornell, under the lead- 
ership of G. C. Caldwell, a professor of agricultural chemistry, de- 
cided, in February 1879, to try to establish a Cornell University 
Experiment Station. To achieve this end, the department asked 
each of eight agricultural organizations to send a representative 
to Ithaca to develop plans for the Station. These individuals then 
became a Board of Control for the new Station. Caldwell was 
named Director. The University, however, neither provided op- 
erational funds for the Station nor officially recognized its exist- 
ence. Nevertheless, thanks to a private gift, the Station was able 
to publish a 133-page annual report in May of 1880. 6 

On June 26, 1880 the State Legislature enacted legislation: "For 
the purpose of promoting agriculture in its various branches by 
scientific investigation and experimentation, an institution is 
hereby established to be called and known as The New York Ag- 
ricultural Experiment Station. The management of this institution 
shall be committed to a board of control, whose members shall be 
selected and appointed as follows: One member from each of the 
following agricultural organizations of the State: The State Agri- 
cultural Society, the State Grange, the American Institute Farm- 
ers' Club, the Central New York Farmers Club, the Western New 
York Farmers' Club, the Elmira Farmers' Club, and the Western 
New York Horticultural Society. These same organizations, plus 
the Ithaca Farmers' Club, were represented on the Cornell 
Station's Board. Two members shall be appointed by the board it- 
self. The governor, and also the person appointed to be director 
of the Station, shall be ex officio members. Said board of control 
shall locate and have the general management of the station, and 
shall appoint a director. The sum of twenty thousand dollars an- 
nually is hereby appropriated." 7 As noted, this legislation did not 

.,- ■- l#*>#| *• 

Guests arriving by Rochester and 
Eastern Rapid Railways for the 
1882 Dedication Ceremonies of 
the Agricultural Experiment Sta- 
tion. The trolley tracks were lo- 
cated on North Street. 

state where this new institution would be located. It was gener- 
ally assumed it would be located at Cornell and would replace 
the recently established Cornell University Station. But, as we 
shall see, this was not to be. 

The first meeting of the Board was held in Albany. Various pro- 
posals were made as to what kind of an institution should be de- 
veloped and where it would be located. Three proposals received 
the most serious consideration: that the Station be made an inde- 
pendent institution with a farm attached; that it become the re- 
search division of Cornell University's Department of Agricul- 
ture; or that it consist of an agency located at Albany which 
would supervise farmer-conducted experiments over the state. 
The first plan won majority approval. The Board then, through a 
public notice, invited localities to submit bids for the location of 
the station in their midst. A site inspection committee was then 
appointed. It consisted of the following Board members: Patrick 
Barry (Chairman) of Rochester, James McCann of Elmira and J. S. 
Woodward of Lockport. The Committee received over one hun- 
dred site proposals. 8 Curiously, one of the later bids received 
came from Cornell. Why the delay occurred has been reported by 
Colman 9 as follows: 

"On February 22, 1881, P. B. Crandall, a prominent member of 
the Ithaca Farmers' Club, wrote to (Henry W.) Sage (Chairman of 
Cornell's Board of Trustees) urging him to make a 'definite propo- 
sition' to the Board of Control of the state experiment station so 
that it would be located at Ithaca. Nearly two weeks later Crandall 
wrote Patrick Barry, Chairman of the Committee on Location, 

urging the selection of Cornell. Barry replied immediately: 'I am 
not aware that the Board of Control has received any proposition 
from the Trustees of Cornell University. I expected they would 
and I have regretted they did not'. Before Barry's reply was re- 
ceived, Sage had made a proposition to the Board of Control. 
Sage's letter however, was perfunctory. There was no mention of 
what Cornell had done or hoped to accomplish with its Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station. Rather, in the briefest way, he offered 
Cornell's facilities 'for one, at least, of the Stations you propose to 
establish,' provided that this can be accomplished 'without inter- 
fering with the regular duties of our Professors'. Sage was a pro- 
lific writer and successful business man who knew how to get 
what he wanted, so no other conclusion seems possible than that 
he did not want the State Agricultural Experiment Station at 

The reaction of the Board of Control to Sage's (Cornell's) non-bid 
was predictable. It was passed over. 

About this same time the Cornell situation was being resolved, 
the search committee had finally narrowed the choice of a loca- 
tion to three, viz. Geneva, Palmyra and Spencerport. Geneva was 
selected as the site of the new institution. 10 Interestingly, the 125 
acre farm at Geneva adjoined the property of Robert W. Swan, 
president of the Board. 11 

Later, in 1881, a complication arose. The State Comptroller issued 
a statement claiming that the Station bill of 1880 was unconstitu- 
tional on the grounds the Board of Control created by the Act was 
self constituted and self-perpetuating. The Attorney General filed 
a contrary opinion. However, it was decided that the Act should 
be amended to meet the comptroller's objections. The Legislature 
passed this amended legislation August 15, 1881. Its principal 
provision was the naming of eight specific individuals to the 
Board with the governor serving as an additional ex officio mem- 
ber. Thereafter Board members would serve three year terms, on 
a staggered basis, or so that only three new members would be 
selected annually. The governor would appoint these new mem- 
bers and fill any interim vacancies. 12 

Back to Sturtevant. After he had gained the respect of agricultural 
scientists, nationally, for the part he played in founding the Soci- 
ety for the Promotion of Agricultural Science, he was much in de- 
mand as a speaker. The timing and importance of two addresses 
he gave may well have assured him appointment to the director- 

ship of the Geneva Station. The first of these was given to the 
New York State Agricultural Society in September 1881; the sec- 
ond, in January 1882, to the Connecticut State Board of Agricul- 
ture. 13 Some of the points he made in his Connecticut address 
were: that farmer-conducted tests were of little value; that mean- 
ingful research could only be performed by trained scientists; that 
since the analysis of fertilizers to detect fraudulent products did 
not involve experimentation, such work should not form a part of 
an Experiment Station's program. He believed an Experiment 
Station should be a research institution, which had a staff of sci- 
entists representing various disciplines and often having them 
conducting interdisciplinary research. 14 

A much-interested listener at Sturtevant's Connecticut address 
was Samuel Johnson, director of the Connecticut Station. He is re- 
ported 15 to have said: "(Sturtevant) has made us ashamed that we 
do not have such an Experiment Station. I have always felt that 
we did not have a station in the true sense of the word. (Con- 
necticut possessed only) the beginning of a station (carrying on) 
such work in the chemical laboratory as applies to the fertilizer 
trade (and making) some rather miscellaneous researches in other 
directions. What is needed to become a true experiment station 
was a diverse crew of specialists, an adjacent field, and a place in 
which to conduct successful pot experiments." 

While in 1880 and the first half of 1881, Sturtevant probably was 
one of several considered for appointment to the directorship of 
the Station, it apparently was not until late 1881 or early 1882 that 
he was offered the position. Whenever it was made, he quickly 
accepted it and reported for duty at Geneva on March 1, 1882. 
Title to the Station's property, according to the Board's president, 
"passed to the State in February 1882." 16 It should be noted, how- 
ever, that funds to purchase the property ($25,000) were not ap- 
propriated by the State until March 31, 1882. 17 The Geneva Sta- 
tion, as it became commonly called, was the fourth State Station 
to be authorized and the sixth to become operative. 18 

Marcus summarized his chapter on the Form and Function of the 
early agricultural research efforts in the United States in the last 
paragraph as follows: "The New York station managed to avoid 
the chemistry-station nexus. It was conceived from a different 
idea. Although it did employ a chemist, his responsibilities did 
not include the regulation of the state fertilizer trade. In fact he 
had no extraordinary duties. The choice of the station director 
also indicated the subordination of chemistry. New York selected 
neither a professional nor commercial chemist but instead a pro- 

fessional botanist with administrative experience. He stood as 
America's first station director not linked to chemistry in some 
intimate way. Indeed, the New York Station might well claim to 
be the first real experiment station in the United States, as distinct 
from a state chemistry shop, and a model for later stations." 19 


1 Rothamsted Exp. Sta. Ann. Rpt. 1983, p. 9. 

2 U. S. Dept. Agr. Misc. Publ. 904 (1962): 5-14, 1962. 

3 U. S. Dept. Agr. Misc. Publ. 904 (1962): 14-22, 1962. 

4 Hedrick, V. P. Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants. Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1909, Part 
II: 2-4. 

5 Marcus, A. I. 1985. Agricultural Science and its quest for Legitimacy. Iowa 
State University Press, pp. 79, 92-96. 

6 Colman, G. P. 1963. Education and Agriculture. A History of the NYS College 
of Agr. at Cornell University, pp. 70-72. 

7 Laws of N. Y., 1881 (Chap. 702, pp. 937-938). 

8 Jordan, W. H. Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1907, Part III, p. 54. 

9 Colman, pp. 82-83. 

10 Jordan, p. 54. 

11 Marcus, p. 92. 

12 Laws of N. Y, 1881 (Chap. 702, pp. 937-938. 

13 Marcus, p. 97. 

14 Marcus, pp. 98-99. 

15 Marcus, p. 99. 

16 Swan, R. J. Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1882, p. 3. 

17 Laws of N. Y., 1882 (Chap. 257, p. 311). 

18 Jordan, W. H. Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1907, Part III, p. 53. 

19 Marcus, p. 86. 

E. Lewis Sturtevant 

E. Lewis Sturtevant. 

E Lewis Sturtevant, M. D., of South Framingham, Massa- 
chusetts, was selected to serve as the Station's first di- 
• rector. He assumed office March 1, 1882. Although 
holder of a medical degree from Harvard, he never practiced 
medicine. Sturtevant was exceptionally well qualified, however, 
to direct the affairs of an agricultural research institution. He was 
a successful farmer, a scientist with an impressive record of ac- 
complishments in the fields of both animal and plant agriculture, 
and he was fully informed on the records the earlier European 
and American experiment stations had made. His views on agri- 
cultural research and on a wide range of other agricultural sub- 
jects were well known from his writings and speaking perfor- 
mances. Sturtevant had spent a number of years prior to coming 
to Geneva engaged in research on a model farm at Framingham, 
Massachusetts, which he shared with two brothers. The property 
was called the Waushakum Farm, a name which became well 
known in agricultural circles in the Northeast. Sturtevant was es- 
pecially interested in the Ayrshire breed of dairy cattle, and, on a 
worldwide basis, the botany, history, and use of edible plants. 1 

In 1882, Sturtevant defined the Station's mission as follows: "The 
field for agricultural (research) is very extensive. There is room in 
it for pure science; and there is also abundant room for the sci- 
ence that applies to practical affairs. This Station, however, was 
organized in the interests of the latter rather than of the former, 
and our duty compels us to leave to others that agreeable and fas- 
cinating work of seeking for knowledge for its own sake, so long 
as the equally good knowledge which relates to practical prob- 
lems is pressing and is pressed upon us for acceptance." 2 

The Station's property in 1882 consisted of 130 acres of land and a 
large brick residential building, 3 the usual complement of farm 
buildings, and an orchard composed of 695 apple trees. 
Sturtevant's immediate concern was the modification of the resi- 
dential building to provide laboratory and office space for the 

— 10 — 

Parrott Hall (former Denton 
home) which provided laboratory 
and office space and even living 
quarters initially. 

staff, and living quarters for his family and for some of the staff. 
This work started March 2. The staff in 1882 consisted of: 
Sturtevant; his assistant, H. H. Wing, B. Agr.; E. S. Goff, horticul- 
turist; S. M. Babcock, A.M. and Ph.D., chemist; and Robert 
Watson, stenographer. 4 An entomologist, Professor J. H. 
Comstock of Cornell University, was paid the sum of $100 plus 
traveling expenses in 1882 "to do some entomological work for 
the Station." Apparently he was expected to serve only as an ad- 
visor or consultant. The arrangement lasted only one year. 5 

From the Work Rules that Sturtevant published, one sees he in- 
tended to conduct a tightly controlled and orderly operation. The 
duties of the janitor, for example, not only required him to attend 
to the furnace fires and perform all janitorial work, but serve as 
yardman, stable boy for the Director's horse, and act as the 
Station's receptionist. The horticulturist was charged with keep- 
ing a notebook in which he would record daily developments of 
various crops, weather conditions, and the presence of insects 
and plant diseases. The notebook was to be left with the Director 
every night. The workday for all hands started at 6:30 AM — with 
an hour off for lunch — and ended at 6 PM. 6 

Most farmers in the 1880's assumed the new Station would be de- 
veloped into a model farm — become a place where the best agri- 
cultural practices would be demonstrated. Sturtevant rejected 
this idea for he knew that lands properly used for field experi- 
mentation would bear little resemblance to a model farm. In his 









Station Policy and Regulations 

Annual Reports, he attempted to explain the scientific principles 
and practices that must be followed to obtain valid field results. 
He probably made few converts. Nevertheless, the Station's pro- 
gram was developed along the lines he described in his writings. 
According to Sturtevant, the objectives of the Station were "to 
discover, verify, and disseminate." He underlined the importance 
of verification, saying it was not enough to discover a possible 
new principle. It had to be tested under varying conditions before 
it could be considered an established practice. He emphasized too 
that the Station had an obligation to make its findings available to 
those who would use them. A reading of Sturtevant's views to- 
day reveals how generally sound they were. He was ahead of his 
time. 7 

In many ways the Station's research program under Sturtevant 
resembled the one he had conducted at the Waushakum Farm. It 
was largely limited to studies on vegetable and field crops, and to 
dairy cattle. 

From the first year, a long list of varieties of vegetable and field 
crops were field evaluated. These totaled over a thousand for 
each of the years 1883, 1884, and 1885. Corn was featured in these 
studies, but more than usual attention was also given to varieties 
of bean, pea, lettuce, wheat, and potato. Of special interest were 
the evaluations made of the seeds of these crops. This effort con- 
sisted of a determination of their purity, weight, and germination 
rate. (In 1912, a Seeds Research program was formally organized 
at the Station. But, as we see, studies in this field had their begin- 
ning here 30 years earlier.) 8 

Much less critical attention was given by the horticulturist to va- 
rietal studies of the tree fruits because of the time lag between 
their planting and fruiting. Some time was saved in the present 
situation for apples by top-working some of the trees in the exist- 
ing Station orchard. In 1883, 90 varieties of apples were top- 
grafted onto some of these trees. It was not until 1888, however, 
that appreciable fruit was produced on these grafts. Still, almost 
every year, starting in 1882, some plantings were made of variet- 
ies of strawberry, bush fruits, grape, and all of the tree fruits. 

The studies conducted on dairy cattle occupied the attention of 
both the director and chemist. The director's part of the effort 
was largely concerned with feeding tests. Babcock provided 
chemical analyses of the foods used in this program and of the 
milk produced. He observed an anomaly between chemical 
analyses of diets and responses in the animals. Many years later 

— 12 — 

at Wisconsin, Babcock persuaded his colleagues to follow up on 
his early work which led to the first discovery of vitamins. 9 In 
1885 he acquired an assistant. This enabled him to pursue an in- 
terest he had developed in determining the true nature of the 
components of milk, particularly of butterfat. In light of the but- 
terfat test he finally introduced in 1890, a close reading of the 
findings he made in this area appearing in the Station's Annual 
Reports for 1885, 1886, and 1887, are of interest. 

Babcock resigned in December 1887 to accept a professorship at 
the University of Wisconsin. In reporting his departure, 
Sturtevant made this prophetic observation: "His work with but- 
terfat problems... will doubtless be. ..of permanent value." 10 And, 
indeed it was. For, as noted above, in 1890 Babcock introduced 
the famous test that bears his name for determining the butterfat 
content of milk and cream. Application of this test had a pro- 
found stabilizing influence on the marketing of these products 
from this time forward. Discoveries are often the end result of a 
gestation period of research and thought of variable duration. 
Geneva Station partisans can be forgiven in believing, in the case 
of Babcock's discovery, that a substantial part of such a period 
took place while he was at Geneva. When Dahlburg arrived at 
the Station in 1921, he found a Babcock butterfat tester in the attic 
of the chemistry building. 11 

Although studies were made on insect pests and plant diseases 
from the Station's first year, the earlier work was conducted by 
horticulturists. This is how Goff, the Station's first horticulturist, 
viewed the subject: "The work of the fruit grower and gardener is 
becoming more and more a warfare with insects and diseases. To 
discover the cause of these evils and to devise practicable rem- 
edies for them is a broad field for the Experimental Horticultur- 
ist." 12 

If today it seems strange that the initial staff did not include ei- 
ther an entomologist or plant pathologist, one should appreciate 
the status of applied research in these two fields at this time. Pro- 
fessor J. H. Comstock of Cornell University summed up the situa- 
tion existing in entomology in 1888 as follows: "Although there 
are many entomologists engaged in research.. .comparatively little 
is done in the study of the habits of insects or in making practical 
applications of entomology. With the exception of a few govern- 
ment entomologists, the energies of the workers in the field were 
almost entirely devoted to the description of species." 13 A similar 
situation existed in the field of botany And so it fell, more or less 
by default, to others to provide growers with means of coping 


with problems in these fields. Horticulturists placed research on 
the disease and insect problems of fruit trees on about the same 
footing as studies on pruning, pollination, fertilization, cultiva- 
tion, fruit storage, and others. 

With one exception, no effective means were available in 1880 to 
combat insect pests and plant diseases in commercial agricul- 
ture. Losses caused by these agents were often severe, but farm- 
ers and the public apparently had become conditioned to accept 
them as inevitable and made do with what was spared. More- 
over, unlike modern consumers, our forebearers were willing to 
accept moderately damaged produce. For they knew that when 
the tattered outer leaves of cabbage, or the rotten or wormy por- 
tions of a fruit or vegetable were removed, what was left was 
quite usable. The exception referred to above was when the in- 
secticide Paris Green was pressed into emergency use to contain 
the Colorado potato beetle after it became established in 1872 in 
western New York potato fields. 14 Effective though it was, the 
product did not come into use in commercial agriculture, along 
with other pesticides, until about two decades later. Lack of suit- 
able application equipment was one limiting factor here. But a 
more important reason was the usual slowness of early farmers 
to adopt any distinctly new practice. 

In 1878, E. P. Haynes of Newfane, NY sprayed a portion of his 
apple orchard with Paris Green, "about two weeks after the 
blossoms fell," to prevent defoliation of the trees by canker- 
worms. This action was taken on the advice of J. S. Woodward, 
Corresponding Secretary of the New York State Agricultural So- 
ciety. At harvest, Woodward found the treated trees "entirely 
free of codling moth (wormy) fruit", while the "trees not 
(treated) were badly infested." He reported these findings at the 
1879 meeting of the Western New York Horticultural Society 15 
Many growers present did not believe him. In fact, he said later, 
"I was jumped upon as a crank." 16 However, Woodward's re- 
port has been cited by Slingerland 17 as being "the first published 
account of the successful use of poisons against the codling 
moth." Knowing of the foregoing experience, Goff treated some 
trees on the Station's grounds with Paris Green in 1882. He con- 
firmed the Niagara County grower's findings, and also, in more 
elaborate tests conducted in later years. 

Farmers of this period were only too familiar with the insects 
that damaged their crops. What caused plant diseases, however, 
largely remained a mystery to them. In view of the importance 
of these disease problems, Sturtevant decided it would be desir- 

- — 14- 

Despite the beards, 
fashionable then, 
most of these men were 
relatively young and were 
just embarking on their 
scientific careers. Mr. 
Babcock was later to 
achieve worldwide fame 
for his butterfat test 
which he perfected after 
leaving Geneva for the 
University of Wisconsin. 
Mr. Plumb became noted 
for his work in animal 
husbandry at Ohio State 
University. Dr. Arthur 
was renowned as botanist 
and plant pathologist at 
Purdue University. Dr. 
Ladd went from Geneva 
to the North Dakota Ex- 
periment Station and 
later to the U. S. Senate 
where he had a distin- 
guished career as a "farm 
senator." Mr. Beckman 
was to become a cran- 
berry expert at the New 
Jersey Experiment Sta- 
tion. F. E. Newton was 
the last survivor of the 
original experiment sta- 
tion staff. He began work 
at the station in 1833 and 
retired in 1928, a span of 
45 years. In 1957, Mr. 
Newton, 94, helped cel- 
ebrate the Station's 75th 

The Station staff of 1886. Seated left to right: F. E. Newton, stenogra- 
pher; C. S Plumb, first assistant; S. M. Babcock, chemist; M. H. 
Beckwith, assistant horticulturist; and E. Lewis Sturtevant, director. 
Standing, left to right, J. C. Arthur, botanist; E. S. Goff, horticultur- 
ist; C. W. Churchill, farmer; and E. F. Ladd, chemist. 

able to acquire a scientist who could not only identify the organ- 
isms involved but could develop means of controlling them. In 
1884, therefore, he employed J. C. Arthur, M. S., a botanist who, 
by interest and training, was qualified to meet the foregoing 
conditions. While Arthur and other early plant disease special- 
ists were classified as botanists, they eventually became called 
plant pathologists. In fact, a Department of Plant Pathology was 
established at Cornell University in 1907. The dominant part of 
Arthur 's program, over the four years he spent at Geneva, was 
concerned with diseases of plants, but he also conducted some 
work on weeds and even on a fungus disease that had provided 
excellent control of the clover leaf weevil. In the first sector, he 
investigated the nature of one or more diseases of tree fruits, 
strawberry, gooseberry, potato, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, oats, 
and clematis. Field tests also were conducted on the control of 
certain diseases of the foregoing plants with fungicidal sprays. 
The product most used was potassium sulphide. Perhaps the 
most important research Arthur conducted while in Geneva was 
the pioneering studies he made on fire blight, a major disease of 

In his weed studies, Arthur used a l/20th acre plot of land, 
which was plowed and harrowed in May and then left undis- 

— 15 — 

turbed over the remainder of the growing season. A record was 
taken each year not only of the species of weeds present but the 
number of specimens of each present. Forty-two species of weeds 
were found present while the number of specimens of each in a 
given year ranged from one up to 11,790. Arthur observed that: 
"The statistics which are given... are presented with the hope of 
adding a little to the knowledge of the subject and to the elucida- 
tion of the problem." 18 

In 1887, Arthur resigned to accept a professorship at Purdue Uni- 
versity where he was to have a most distinguished career. Arthur 
was the first plant pathologist to be appointed to the staff of an 
American state agricultural experiment station. The Geneva Sta- 
tion is proud of Director Sturtevant in this connection, not only 
for his early recognition of the necessity of having a plant disease 
scientist on an experiment station staff, but to have acted ahead 
of his peers to acquire one. 

After the Station had been in existence five or six years, and ap- 
parently had not made any earth-shaking discoveries, it became 
fair game for the uninformed, and certain politicians and seg- 
ments of the press who sought to use its vulnerability to further 
their own ends. One of the best known of these attacks appeared 
in the New York Sun in March 1887. It read, in part: "It is enough 
to make an earnest American despair of the future of democracy 
in America to see the ease with which a few men, hating to work 
for their own living and determined to live on the Government, 
succeeded in putting a law through our Legislature to set them 
up, with $22,000 a year income, in the fraudulent business of con- 
ducting agricultural experiments to improve New York farming. 
From top to bottom, the bill, the Station, and the operatives have 
been a fraud on our farmers and taxpayers.... In the name of New 
York's insulted farmers and in the name of good government, we 
demand of the Legislature to abolish the Geneva Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station. It is a humbug." 1 '' Humbug or not, the Geneva 
Station survived, grew, and became world famous for the quality 
and importance of its research accomplishments. As for the Sun — 
alas, it disappeared long ago from the journalistic scene. 

In the fall of 1887, Sturtevant, along with Arthur, Plumb, and 
Babcock, resigned. Sturtevant, never strong physically, is per- 
ceived to have sought a return to the lesser pressures of private 
life. It also would give him an opportunity to devote as much 
time as he desired to study and to writing on a variety of subjects, 
especially on the botany, world distribution, and economic im- 
portance of edible plants. 20 


One of the laboratories in the 
Botany Laboratory — 1884. This 
was the Denton House, which was 
later named Parrott Hall. 

The three staff members who resigned advanced, as noted earlier, 
to more prestigious and lucrative posts elsewhere. While 
Sturtevant's departure may have influenced their decisions to 
leave, at least at this time, this probably was only a secondary 

If the Station reached a low point in 1887 with the departure of 
half its staff, the institution was in no danger of being discontin- 
ued. State agricultural leaders remained strong in its support. 
And Sturtevant in his final report strongly reaffirmed his belief in 
the value of experiment stations and the certainty of their future. 
Anyway, to have considered the Station's termination a possibil- 
ity would have run counter to a nationwide upsurge of support 
for the experiment station idea. For it also was in 1887 (March 2) 
that the Federal Hatch Act became law. This legislation provided 
funds for the establishment of state operated agricultural experi- 
ment stations in all of the states. 

A close reading of Sturtevant's final report reveals he was not 
wholly satisfied with the Station's accomplishments under his 
leadership. He accepted some of the blame, writing: "I have 
yielded to public pressure. a certain extent, and have practiced 
less boldly than I have believed." On the other hand, he rightly 
did not accept full responsibility for the operational difficulties he 
had experienced. He maintained the organizational conditions 
occurring in the founding legislation were faulty in that they did 
not give the director sole management responsibilities. He held 


that the function of the Board of Control should be limited to the 
control of the Station's financial interests and to the appointment 
or displacement of a director. The director in turn should be em- 
powered to appoint all employees and be allowed to carry out 
the program he had envisioned for the Station. He declared that 
continuity of effort could not be attained otherwise. If at any time 
the Board should become dissatisfied with a director's manage- 
ment, the remedy for this situation was to displace him and ap- 
point another. 21 But too much can be read into these and similar 
comments he made here. With some exceptions, Sturtevant had 
nothing to apologize for. He had selected an excellent staff, had 
successfully resisted all attempts to make the Station something 
other than a research institution, and if the Station's research pro- 
gram was limited because of the small financial support it re- 
ceived, it was sound and well executed. 22 

Sturtevant, along with the Board of Control, can be faulted, how- 
ever, for their failure to obtain growth funds for the Station. Thus, 
appropriations for its operation remained at $20,000 annually 
over the six years he was director. However, no permanent harm 
was done. For, as we shall see, Collier, Sturtevant's successor, 
quickly remedied this situation. 

Before leaving Sturtevant, a correction should be made of a 
charge that he was guilty of introducing the English sparrow into 
America. This accusation was made by the Station's sixth direc- 
tor, U. P. Hedrick, in 1933. Hedrick correctly observed that many 
Americans in the 19th century believed birds offered the best 
means of controlling insect pests in their fields and orchards. But 
then he wrote: "It was under this delusion that E. Lewis 
Sturtevant, first Director of the New York State Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station, happily some years before he became Director 
of that institution, introduced the English sparrow into the 
United States, which proved of no use whatsoever in keeping 
down insects, but became, as everyone knows, a pest of agricul- 
ture surpassed only by the robin, crow, and now the starling." 
Fortunately, the facts are at variance with this charge. O. S. 
Pettingill, then (1973) Director of the Laboratory of Ornithology 
at Cornell University, advised the writer that the English sparrow 
(now called house sparrow) was first introduced in the United 
States in 1850. He stated that "Eight pairs (of this species) were 
imported from England in 1850 to the Brooklyn Institute. They 
were released in the spring of 1851, but did not thrive. Other 
birds were imported in 1852.. .and still others. 1853, all (being) 
released in the New York City area. Those released in 1853 
thrived." Thus we may conclude: the house sparrow was first in- 



troduced to the United States in the New York City area in 1850, 
but it did not become established here (and in the United States) 
until 1853. 23 Sturtevant was 11 years old in 1853. 


1 Hedrick, U. P. Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1919, Part II, Sturtevant's Notes on Edible 
Plants, pp. 1-11. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, p. 12. 

3 This building was believed to have been constructed shortly after Mr. and 
Mrs. Nehemiah Denton purchased this property (in Mrs. Denton's name) on 
September 19, 1852. Incidentally, both of the Dentons were deaf mutes. Evi- 
dence obtained in 1987, however, has revealed that extensive additions were 
made to an existing structure in 1853. This discovery was made by the archi- 
tectural firm of Crawford and Sterns of Syracuse, NY. They had been commis- 
sioned to develop plans for remodeling the interior of the building to meet a 
projected new use of it. Earlier, this vacated building had been officially desig- 
nated a State Historic Site and later was scheduled to become the Parrott Hall 
of Science. 

Crawford and Sterns provided the writer with the ground level line drawings 
showing what Parrott Hall consisted of before and after 1853. There is a fam- 
ily linkage between Parrott Hall and another dwelling built in 1853. Reference 
is made to the Octagon House at the corner of Castle and North Streets. Its 
builder, Harry G. Moore, was a brother of Mrs. Denton. The most prominent 
structural linkage between the two houses is the use of the same iron railings 
over their exteriors. Both the Octagon and Denton houses became local show 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, p. 8. 

5 Comstock, A. B. 1953. The Comstocks of Cornell, p. 146, Cornell Univ. Press. 

6 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, pp. 26-28. 

7 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882-1887, Introductory statements. 

8 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, pp. 12-13, 82. 

9 de Kruif, P. 1928. Hunger Fighters, Finder of the Hidden Hunger, pp. 267-297. 

10 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1887, p. 48. 

11 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 3. 

12 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, p. 121. 

13 Cornell Sta. Rpt. 1888, p. 19. 

14 U.S. Bur. Entom. Circ. 87, p. 4, 1907. 

15 Woodward, J. C. W. NY Hort. Soc. Proceed. 1879, pp. 20-21. 
1,1 Lodeman, E. J. 1896. The spraying of plants, pp. 62-63. 

17 Slingerland, M. V. 1898. Cornell Exp. Sta. Bui. 142: 50, 66. 

18 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1887, pp. 363-371. 

19 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1907, Part III, p. 6-7. 

20 The Station published as Part 2 of its 1919 Annual Report a 686-page volume 
entitled "Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants." Expertly compiled and edited 
by U. P. Hedrick, it was based on a number of published contributions by 
Sturtevant and a 1,600-page hand-written manuscript which he left with the 
Station when he resigned in 1887. 

21 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1887, pp. 36-37, 44-47; and Ibid., 1907, Part III, pp. 56-57. 

22 Hedrick, U. P. 1933. A History of Agriculture in the State of New York, p. 401. 

23 In support of this statement, Pettingill cited: Barrows, W. B. 1889. USDA, Div. 
of Econ. Ornithology and Mammalogy Farmers Bui. 1, 405 pp; and Bent, A. C. 
1958. U.S. Nat. Museum Bui. 211. 


Peter Collier 

Peter Collier. 

The Station's second director, Peter Collier, MD, Ph.D., was 
born in Madison County, NY. His father, grandfather, 
and great grandfather were practical farmers. He was an 
1861 graduate of Yale University. In 1867, he became professor of 
chemistry, University of Vermont, and became secretary of the 
newly created Board of Agriculture and Mining in 1872 where he 
established the first series of Farmer Institutes ever held in the 
United States. President Grant appointed him one of six scientific 
commissioners to represent the United States at the World's Ex- 
position in Vienna in 1873. Prior to coming to Geneva, Collier 
served as head of the Chemistry Division of the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture from 1877 until he came to Geneva as Station Di- 
rector in 1887. Collier had an excellent background to succeed Di- 
rector Sturtevant in that he had experience at the farm, state, na- 
tional, and international levels. He had strengths where 
Sturtevant was weak. 1 

An immediate concern of Collier's was the condition of the 
Station's buildings and grounds. He found them to be in a sorry 
state. Important though the correction of this situation was, it 
comprised only a small part of the new plans he had for the Sta- 
tion. Collier had inherited a program in 1887 largely limited to 
studies involving fruits, vegetables, field crops, and dairy cattle. 
He realized that because of the Station's small staff and opera- 
tional budget, a program larger than this could hardly have been 
undertaken. But mindful of the charge given in the founding leg- 
islation that the Station was expected to serve agriculture in "its 
various branches," he apparently decided to make the fulfillment 
of this mandate a primary objective. 

Being a man of action, Collier decided to inform the State Legis- 
lature as early as possible about the new plans he had for the 
Station. So, on April 16, 1888 he appeared before the Senate Fi- 
nance Committee in Albany. In the first sentence of a prepared 

—20 — 

statement he said, "there appears to exist in certain quarters, 
grave misconceptions as to the work of the Station in the past, 
the practical and scientific value of the work done, the economy 
of its management, and the necessity of additional aid in order 
that it may enlarge its sphere of usefulness." He then went on to 
say: "If the... statements upon which such adverse criticisms are 
based were true, or even approximately so, then there can be no 
doubt of the.. .duty of the Legislature to abolish the Station at 
Geneva, and at once." But, he said, he proposed "to show that 
the gravest error(s) had been made in such criticisms." 

Collier prefaced the next part of his thesis by saying he was not 
appearing before the committee as director of the Geneva Sta- 
tion, a post he had only recently assumed, but as a person who 
had had 25 years experience in agricultural research and admin- 
istration. First, he said, he had no thought of abandoning the 
program that had been carried out at the Geneva Station over 
the past six years. Rather, he intended to "supplement the work 
which, in my best judgment, has been wisely planned and faith- 
fully and economically carried forward." 

Collier told the Committee the Geneva Station had provided 
most valuable service to the producers of fruit and vegetable 
crops and of dairy products. But it had not been possible to pro- 
vide assistance to other branches of the State's agriculture. He 
then bluntly posed this rhetorical question: "What, then, is the 
matter?" As he rightly saw it, the "matter" was that the Legisla- 
ture had established the Station six years earlier but then had 
provided no additional funds for its growth. (He was, of course, 
referring to the fact that operational funds had remained at 
$20,000, annually, over the six preceding years.) Institutions like 
this, he said, could not succeed if they could not grow. And they 
could not grow unless they were provided with additional 

Collier next reminded the committee, the law establishing the 
Station in 1880 was for "the purpose of promoting agriculture in 
its various branches." This being the case, he proposed starting 
to provide research assistance to those branches not previously 
served. Collier also advised he was proposing other new ven- 
tures that would add to the interest and value of the Station, not 
only to the State's farmers but to the general public as well. Af- 
ter citing immediate need of funds to provide for a new barn 
and to carry out the badly needed repair of the buildings and 
the upgrading of the grounds, he then listed as follows the new 
areas he proposed entering. 


Drawing fertilizer samples to be 
sent to the Station for analysis. 

"It is proposed to enter into an exhaustive investigation for the 
purpose of determining the relative value of the various breeds of 
cattle for the purpose of the dairy or for beef; the relative cost of 
production of milk, butter, cheese, and beef, and the food rations 
which, with greatest economy, secure the best results. It is pro- 
posed to have upon the ground of the Station a permanent ex- 
hibit of every kind of agricultural implement used upon the farm. 
It is proposed to have an arboretum, in which, in time, there shall 
be a permanent exhibit of every kind of tree and shrub which in 
this latitude may be successfully grown; it is proposed to have 
upon the grounds, for the purpose of comparison, all the new va- 
rieties of small fruits, and berries, and vegetables, in order that 
their relative value, under the same cultivation, may be deter- 
mined; it is proposed to make a careful investigation of the many 
practical problems connected with one of our greatest indus- 
tries — poultry" (Later extended to include swine.) 

"In regard to the above, I am able to testify that so far as I know, 
the farmers, the various stock-breeders, the manufacturers of ag- 
ricultural implements, the nurserymen and fruit-growers, and the 
poultrymen are unanimous in their desire to have this work en- 
tered upon and (that many) are ready. .to supply the Station with 
choice animals and implements, and trees and fruits, and the ma- 
terial necessary with which to carry on this work." 2 

Later on in his statement, Collier rather casually referred to two 
other fields he hoped the Station could be involved in. One was 
the founding of a fertilizer inspection service; the other, the estab- 
lishment of about 10 sub-stations over the State. The words used 
in the former instance were: "It is hoped that there will be pro- 


Preparing samples of fertilizer for 
shipment to the Station. 

vided at the Station the means of securing protection to the farm- 
ers of the State in the purchase of fertilizer." 3 He must have 
known, however, that a bill designed to achieve this end had 
been introduced in the Legislature a month before he appeared 
before the Finance Committee. 4 

The Senate Finance Committee appears to have been most favor- 
ably impressed with Collier's presentation. And even though his 
requests for immediate additional funds came near the end of the 
legislative session, the Station was granted a special appropria- 
tion of $8,000, available immediately. 5 

During 1888, the Station issued a series of five bulletins and sev- 
eral circulars. The latter were concerned, as Collier put it, "with 
setting forth the needs of the Station." The direct mailing list for 
these publications was necessarily small, because funds for print- 
ing and mailing costs were very limited. But private Agricultural 
papers commonly reproduced some of them in full. The result 
was that a goodly percentage of New York farmers had an oppor- 
tunity to read them. The Station received a large number of in- 
quiries from farmers establishing their interest in the work being 
done here and the new fields the Station hoped to enter. Subjects 
of greatest interest were: the inspection of commercial fertilizers, 
branch stations, tests of dairy cattle, the poultry industry, and in 
having a permanent exhibit of tools and agricultural implements. 

Following the introduction of the fertilizer inspection bill March 
15, 1888, a circular letter, dated April 5, was signed by nearly ev- 
ery manufacturer and dealer in fertilizers doing business in New 
York protesting enactment of this bill. It was claimed to be "a tax 

Chemistry Laboratory designed for 
analysis of fertilizers and other 
products used in agriculture. 

which is unjust and a direct blow against the farming industry 
of this State." The latter ended by saying they hoped the bill 
would be "consigned to oblivion." (Interestingly not a single 
farmer signed this petition.) The original bill failed to pass, as 
did an amended one that was scheduled to go into effect Febru- 
ary 1, 1889. 6 Success finally was achieved, however, May 24, 
1890 when a grant of $20,000 was received for the new pro- 


While Collier was occupied with the foregoing activities, he 
also became involved in another major development. This was 
the disposition of the $15,000 that would come to New York for 
agricultural research purposes under provisions of the federal 
Hatch Act. This legislation was enacted March 1, 1887. How 
these new funds were to be used was delegated to the state leg- 
islatures. It was commonly assumed New York's share would 
go to the Cornell University Station. Some or all of the funds, 
however, could have been assigned to the Geneva Station. 
Aware of this possibility, Cornell officials, early in 1889, are said 
to have obtained a promise from Collier not to seek any of the 
money. Later that year, however, a bill was introduced in the 
Legislature proposing an equal division of the funds between 
the Geneva and Cornell stations. Collier assured Cornell the bill 
came as a surprise to him and did not represent an act of bad 
faith on his part. Later, all of the Hatch funds were assigned 
temporarily to Cornell. Their disposition was reopened in 1890, 
however, when Geneva Station supporters sought to obtain 
some of the funds to qualify for the use of the franking privi- 
lege. This award would enable the Station to mail out its publi- 
cations free of charge. 7 More on this issue later. 


Most of the $8,000 appropriation obtained in 1888 was used to 
construct a cattle barn. It was not necessary to reserve much of 
this money for the purchase of livestock and equipment since 
most of these items were provided, free of charge, by interested 
cattle breeders and equipment manufacturers. 

Collier was unhappy about the run-down condition of most of 
the acreage comprising the Station's farm. Only a small portion of 
it lying between North Street and Castle Creek had been used 
during Sturtevant's years. In the 1888 Report, the Board of Con- 
trol reported that all visiting farmers believed the property 
"should be made in all respects a model farm." Whether Collier 
shared this view is uncertain. However, he did decide to make 
use of all of the Station's 130 acres. He set aside 17 acres of it 
along Castle Creek for an arboretum; expanded the varietal plant- 
ing of fruits and vegetables for "comparison" purposes, and pro- 
posed founding a farm equipment exhibit center. While a model 
farm probably would not emerge out of the fulfillment of the 
foregoing plans, something approaching a showplace would. In 
any event, Collier is to be credited with improving the appear- 
ance and condition of the entire Station property. 

The fertilizer inspection act of 1890 included a $20,000 appropria- 
tion. Since laboratory space was not available for the large 
amount of additional analytical work projected, the Board of 
Control decided to use much of this money, the first year, to con- 
struct a new laboratory. One of its members, Daniel Batchelor, 
was commissioned to visit some stations having such facilities. 
He reported back that the building used at the Amherst, Massa- 
chusetts Station would be a good model. Collier was then autho- 
rized to construct a comparable laboratory at Geneva. The build- 
ing, with some undeveloped sections, was completed in 1891. It 
became the first building on the Station's grounds specifically de- 
signed for office and laboratory purposes. Until it was available, 
the fertilizer samples had been analyzed in a makeshift labora- 
tory at 129 Exchange Street in downtown Geneva. 8 In 1892, the 
Legislature provided an additional appropriation of $6,000 so 
that the undeveloped space in the building could be utilized. The 
building not only provided office and laboratory space for all of 
the chemists but for some non-chemical staff as well. 

Studies conducted in the field of horticulture have always occu- 
pied a major part of the Station's program. As noted earlier, in the 
years Sturtevant was director, the horticultural program was 
largely concerned with studies involving vegetable and field 
crops. Later, it included some work on the fruits, and also on the 


control, of plant diseases and insect pests. As bearing plantings of 
the tree fruits became available on the Station's grounds, how- 
ever, there was a gradual shift of emphasis from vegetable and 
field crops to the fruits. By 1896 the varietal plantings of the vari- 
ous fruits had reached impressive numbers. As of July 1 that year, 
they included 16 kinds of fruits and 2,823 varieties of them. It 
perhaps can be said that by 1896 research on fruit crops had be- 
come the dominant interest of the Department of Horticulture. 

The studies made by horticulturists on insects and plant diseases 
from 1882 to about 1890 were small scale and essentially limited 
to field tests. Plant diseases received more attention than did in- 
sect pests in these years. In 1891, the director asked the Division 
of Vegetable Pathology of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 
some assistance in coping with several foliar diseases of fruit 
nursery stocks. The Division sent their D. G. Fairchild to Geneva. 
He was on this assignment only two years, but was able to pro- 
vide nurserymen with some quite effective means of containing 
their disease problems. 

In 1891 (November 1), S. A. Beach began his distinguished career 
as head horticulturist of the Station. He exhibited an early interest 
in plant diseases. In his first year (1892) he carried out some rela- 
tively comprehensive field tests on the control of diseases of 
bean, potato, celery, and chrysanthemum. His findings are given 
in 54 pages of the 1892 Annual Report. In subsequent years, he 
conducted some important experiments on the control of plum 
leaf spot, cherry leaf spot, apple scab, and pear scab. It should be 
noted that Beach apparently elected to do this research, first, be- 
cause of the demand for it, and second, because after J. C. Arthur 
left in 1887 the Station's staff did not include a Geneva-based 
plant disease specialist until 1898. 

While the research undertaken by the Station in animal agricul- 
ture was limited to dairy cattle during the years Sturtevant was 
director, it was expanded under Collier to include beef cattle, 
poultry, and swine. The work on dairy cattle, milk, and cheese 
was a major part of the Station's program from the first year. And 
this position was maintained until 1943 when all dairy research 
became centered in the Cornell University Station. 

In 1888, William P. Wheeler was added to the staff to conduct 
studies, primarily, on poultry and swine. He was given the title of 
First Assistant. Presumably this meant he was to serve as the 
director's principal assistant. Collectively, Wheeler devoted more 
time to studies on poultry and swine than on other assignments 

-26 — 

from 1888 through 1892. But other duties given him thereafter ap- 
preciably reduced the work done in these fields. Thus as he ob- 
served in 1893: "Considerable time has been spent attending 
to.. .incidental and routine work connected with the general Sta- 
tion management. During the first few months of this year (for 
example) a great deal of time was given to the preparation.. .of ex- 
hibits intended for the Chicago Exhibition." Other duties in- 
cluded handling much of the Station's correspondence. Over the 
Collier years, Wheeler's research on poultry appeared in five Sta- 
tion bulletins (Nos. 29, 38, 39, 53, and 57) and in two on swine 
(Nos. 22 and 28). These publications are duplicated along with re- 
ports on studies in all fields in the Annual Reports for 1888-1894. 
Concerning the poultry research program, Wheeler claimed in 
1907: "This Station was one of the first to conduct any experi- 
ments with poultry." 9 

From the Station's first year, chemistry occupied a key position in 
the Station's program. In the early years, a great variety of prod- 
ucts were subjected to chemical analysis, ranging from milk, fer- 
tilizers, soil, water, and many kinds of plants and plant products. 
Soon, however, major attention was given to milk and cheese, 
and to the composition and significance of the foods fed dairy 
cattle. Reference has already been made to the important studies 
conducted at this Station by S. M. Babcock from 1885-1887 on 
milk and its butterfat content. The work load of the chemistry de- 
partment was greatly expanded in 1890, however, when the Sta- 
tion was selected to manage the fertilizer inspection program. By 
1892, of the 12 members of the Station's professional staff, seven 
were chemists. In 1891, L. L. Van Slyke initiated some very exten- 
sive and varied studies on the production of cheese. In 1892, for 
example, 106 experiments were conducted which extended over a 
period from May to October. About half of these tests were car- 
ried out in cooperation with commercial cheese producers. 10 

Curiously, except for the first five bulletins published by the Sta- 
tion in the years Collier was director, none of the remaining 76 
identified their author (s). Only the director's name appeared on 
the title page. While not so instructed, anyone having questions 
about the bulletins' contents or seeking additional information, 
presumably, was expected to write the director. 

The years 1893 and 1894 were critical ones in the life of the 
Geneva Station. On January 3, 1893, Governor Roswell P. Flower 
in his annual address to the Legislature said: "I would urge the 
concentration at Cornell University of the various agencies for 
promoting scientific agriculture." Obviously, had his proposal 


Governor Roswell P. Flower and 
dignitaries making their "on-site'' 
inspection — September 26, 1893. 

been implemented, the Geneva Station would have been elimi- 
nated. 11 Friends of the Station quickly organized plans to forstall 
such an outcome. A key part of this plan involved the use of a 
member of the Board of Control, former Senator S. H. 
Hammond. He was a prominent member of the State's Demo- 
cratic Party and a close personal friend of the Governor. 
Hammond was able to persuade Flower to delay action on the 
foregoing proposal until after he had made an on-site inspection 
of the Geneva Station. 

The Governor came to Geneva September 26, 1893, arriving at the 
New York Central Railroad Station at 7:50 AM. After he and his 
party had breakfast at Senator Hammond's home, the group 
went directly to the Geneva Station. Here they first met with Di- 
rector Collier and the Board of Control. The remainder of the 
morning was spent inspecting the Station's field and laboratory 
operations. The Governor was particularly impressed with: the 
chemical analyses being made, for regulatory purposes, of 
samples of commercial fertilizer being sold in the State; the vari- 
etal plantings of fruit under testing consisting of 11 kinds of fruits 
and over 1,200 varieties; the performance of the Station's dairy 
herd consisting of seven well-known breeds; and a display of re- 
cent Station bulletins which, he was informed, were being mailed 
out almost daily to the State's farmers. 

After leaving the Station, the Governor's party was driven by car- 
riage to the inner village for a public reception held at the Ar- 
mory. He was greeted here by several thousand Genevans includ- 
ing a military unit and a band, school children, and others. A wel- 
coming speech was given by a local orator and this was followed 
by a response from the Governor. Next the party moved on to 
make a courtesy call on members of the Geneva Club, and then to 

— 28— 

Hobart College. Here he was graciously received by the presi- 
dent, the faculty and many of their wives, and a number of stu- 
dents. The final event of this day was an elaborate dinner party 
hosted by Senator Hammond and his family. Guests present were 
the Governor, Secretary of State Rice, Collier, W. C. Barry and sev- 
eral other Board members, and eight other distinguished persons. 
Following dinner, several hours were spent in an informal discus- 
sion of State affairs including, of course, the possibilities for in- 
creased usefulness of the Geneva Station. Board member Barry 
made a very effective case for that last subject. Flower was an 
overnight guest of the Hammonds. 12 

The Governor was reported to have become a strong supporter of 
the Geneva Station following this visit. The first tangible evidence 
of such support is found in his annual message to the Legislature 
in January 1894. He recommended here that the Station receive 
ample appropriations. This recommendation was followed by the 
introduction of a bill allocating 10 per cent of the federal Hatch 
funds to Geneva. The purpose of this legislation was to qualify 
the Station for use of the franking or free mailing privilege. While 
some in the Cornell administration decided not to object to this 
bill, Director Roberts strongly opposed it not only for the $1,500 
the Cornell Station would lose, but on principle. Liberty Hyde 
Bailey called it the "Geneva Steal Bill." And President Jacob 
Gould Schurman even went so far as to claim that, with an addi- 
tional $6,000, the Cornell Station could do all of the work cur- 
rently being done at Geneva at an annual cost to the State of 
$66,000. In spite of these objections, the Legislature assigned 10 
per cent of the Hatch Fund to Geneva and later appropriated 
$8,000 for the establishment of a Geneva sub-station in the Sec- 
ond Judicial District. This district included several lower Hudson 
Valley counties, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Is- 
land. 13 

The principal support for this new appropriation came from the 
vegetable growers on Long Island. They sought means of coping 
with insect and plant disease problems primarily. This situation 
clearly called for the appointment of both a botanist (plant pa- 
thologist) and an entomologist. Director Collier more than met 
these conditions. He appointed not only one but two entomolo- 
gists, and a botanist as well. All three were stationed, initially, at 
Jamaica on Long Island. But why two entomologists? Apparently 
this was done with the intention of moving one of them one day 
to Geneva. An entomologist, Victor Lowe, was so transferred in 
1895; the botanist, F. C. Stewart, did not make Geneva his base of 
operation, however, until 1898. 

— 29 — 

The funds the Cornell Station received from the Hatch Act in 1889 
greatly strengthened its program. And, from this year forward, 
both stations entered a period of significant growth. It was per- 
haps inevitable, however, that the two stations became somewhat 
competitive. Thus, each sought to acquire a maximum degree of 
recognition and support from the state's farmers, their organiza- 
tions, and the State Legislature. Both sometimes followed rather 
aggressive policies and tactics to achieve these ends. Relations be- 
tween the two stations had badly deteriorated by 1895. 

At a special meeting of the Station's Board of Control on June 7, 

1895, Collier "was given a vacation of three months on account of 
long continued ill health." 14 L. L. Van Slyke, the Station's chemist, 
was named Acting Director. Collier's health did not improve, so 
in October 1895 he decided to resign as director, and to move to 
Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he could receive care from an emi- 
nent physician located there. At first his health did improve. But, 
thereafter, it steadily declined, resulting in his death June 29, 

1896. He was only 61. He was survived by his wife and a daugh- 
ter. On July 1, 1896, the Station's Board of Control met to prepare 
a resolution memorializing Collier's death. In it they wrote of his 
"genial courtesy and unvarying hospitality (which) characterized 
(his) relations to this Board... and his untiring interest, while direc- 
tor, in the matters pertaining to this station." 15 

Regarding Collier's accomplishments as director, it can be said: 
he increased operational funds from $20,000 annually in 1888 to 
$68,000 by 1895; expanded the Station's program to include stud- 
ies on beef cattle, poultry, and swine; added an inspection regula- 
tory service to the Station's program; added a botanist (plant pa- 
thologist) and two entomologists to the staff; added a large cattle 
barn, a chemical laboratory, several forcing houses, a fruit cold 
storage building, and a triple residential house on North Street. 

Collier had some wide-ranging plans for the Geneva Station 
when he became director December 1, 1887. Not all of these pro- 
jections materialized. But perhaps most of the better ones did. 
The gains made in the Station's physical plant, staff, and program 
were impressive. The seven-and-a-half years he was in office, 
however, were challenging and demanding ones for him, particu- 
larly in dealings with the Cornell University Station and its sup- 
porters. Much was at stake here. But the fact that he and his 
Board of Control were able to defeat a plan to abolish the Geneva 
Station, and then gain additional funding from the State, attests 
to his dedication to the Station's interests, to his tenacity, and re- 
sourcefulness. Unfortunately, the duties of the directorship over 

30 — 

this period were so demanding that his health finally seriously 
declined and he was obliged to resign in 1895. The Station Collier 
left that year unquestionably was a much stronger institution 
than the one he took over in 1887. 

The kind of an institution Collier and Sturtevant sought to estab- 
lish at Geneva differed greatly. Each largely showed what they 
had been doing prior to coming here. Whatever their intentions 
were, what Sturtevant created, it appears, was an enlarged 
Waushakum Farm operation. As for Collier, he produced what 
could be called a minute U.S. Department of Agriculture. Both 
Directors, however, made valuable contributions to the Geneva 
Station in its formative years, thus producing a well balanced ag- 
ricultural research institution. 


1 Emmons, E. T. 1931. The Story of Geneva. The Geneva Daily Times, pp. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1888, pp. 4-16. 

3 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1888, p. 15. 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1888, p. 27-29. 

5 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1888, p. 4. 

6 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1888, pp. 22-32. 

7 Colman, G. P. 1963. Education and Agriculture: A History of the NYS 
College of Agriculture at Cornell University, pp. 96, 102. 

8 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1890, pp. 2-3, 242. 

9 NYSAES Ann. Rpts 1888-1890; 1907, Part III, p. 72. 

10 NYSAES Ann. Rpts. 1891-1895. 

11 Colman, 1963. Education and Agriculture: A History of the NYS College 
of Agriculture at Cornell University, pp. 115, 118-9. 

12 Geneva Gazette, Sept. 29, 1893. 

11 Colman, 1963. Education and Agriculture: A History of the NYS College 
of Agriculture at Cornell University, p. 121. 

14 Expt. Sta. Record (USDA) 1897, 7: 74. 

15 Geneva Gazette, July 3, 1896. 

-31 — 

Whitman H. Jordan 

Whitman B. Jordan. 

Whitman H. Jordan, Sc.D., LL.D V became the Geneva 
Station's third director July 1, 1896. His experience 
prior to coming to Geneva was as follows: He re- 
ceived B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Maine. Jor- 
dan then spent the year 1877-1878 at Cornell University engaged 
in graduate studies. Next he joined the staff of the Connecticut 
Experiment Station as an assistant chemist. In the year he spent 
there, site of America's first state experiment station, his thinking 
about what role these institutions should properly play was 
much influenced by his exposure to the views held by Director S. 
W. Johnson and W. O. Atwater. Both of these individuals had vis- 
ited and studied at the highly successful agricultural experiment 
stations of Germany. After spending one year back at Maine, he 
accepted, in 1881, a professorship of agricultural chemistry at The 
Pennsylvania State University. Then, in 1885, Jordan became the 
first director of the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station. He re- 
mained there until 1896 when he became Director of the Geneva 
Station. Trained as a chemist, Jordan's area of specialization was 
animal nutrition. In addition to the solid records he had made in 
both research and administration, he was a gifted speaker. And, 
as we shall see, he was to use this skill to advantage on both the 
New York and national scenes. 

In his first annual report, Jordan gives a rather full assessment of 
the Station as he found it in 1896. Much of what he saw he found 
good. One of the earlier changes he decided to make, however, 
was to organize the staff into departments. Created, initially, were 
departments of Chemistry, Horticulture, Vegetable Pathology, En- 
tomology, and Animal Husbandry. 

A general criticism he had of the existing program was that for 
the Station's small staff too much was attempted; in consequence, 
the total effort was spread too thinly. While he hoped to enlarge 
the staff, he believed it still would be too small, over the foresee- 

-32 — 

able future, to provide assistance of a meaningful order to all seg- 
ments of New York's agriculture. This being the case, he decided 
to adopt the following policy: "The most profitable field for (our) 
research should be determined by the relative importance of the 
various agricultural industries in the state. It is certain that at the 
present time, and there are no indications of a change of condi- 
tions, dairying and horticulture occupy a commanding position 
in New York agriculture. Both are greatly aided by our proximity 
to the largest home markets in this country. The former can 
scarcely become less important because of the great increase in 
the consumption of dairy products, especially of raw milk, and 
the latter must always be fostered in this state in view of the un- 
excelled natural advantages for the production of small and large 
fruits. Everything points, therefore, to the conclusion that the ex- 
periment stations of this state should give prominent consider- 
ation to whatever will promote these two lines of practice." 1 
Thus, Jordan said, in effect, he intended to direct most of the 
Station's future efforts into serving the state's dairy and horticul- 
tural interests. 

In 1896, Jordan proposed the addition of three staff positions: a 
dairy bacteriologist, a botanist, and an editor-librarian. He also 
asked the Legislature to provide funds for the building of five 
new structures. By far the most important of these was a Biologi- 
cal and Dairy Building. This building would provide badly 
needed housing for the Vegetable Pathology, Horticulture, Ento- 
mology, and Dairy Departments. 2 Jordan was able to fill the post 
of Editor and Librarian in 1897. Selected was Frank H. Hall, a 
staff member of the Office of Experiment Stations in the U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture at Washington, DC. Jordan also named 
the future occupants of the two other positions in 1897: H. A. 
Harding as Bacteriologist and G. A. Smith as Dairy Expert. 
Smith's appointment became effective in 1898, but Harding's not 
until January 1, 1899. A botanist was added to the Geneva-based 
staff in 1898 by transferring F. C. Stewart to Geneva from the 
Long Island substation. 

As a graduate of the Johnson-Atwater school of thought, Jordan 
had acquired some strongly held views about what should and 
what should not engage the attention of an experiment station 
staff. He believed such institutions would best serve agriculture 
by conducting research on the principles underlying agricultural 
practices. He also maintained that research should be made the 
near full-time occupation of a Station's staff. He was referring 
here to a practice commonly followed where stations were lo- 
cated on the campuses of colleges of agriculture. Station staff 

—33 — 

In grower tests, five sprays, which 
cost a total of '$4.85, produced an 
increase of 132 bushels per acre of 
potatoes for a profit of '$20.51 per 

members here usually were obliged to divide their time between 
classroom instruction and research. 

At the 1897 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Agri- 
cultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, Jordan had an oppor- 
tunity to present his views on the foregoing subjects. He started 
off by saying: "This combination of the teacher and investigator 
has been supported by the somewhat widespread declaration that 
a man must be a teacher in order to reach his highest mark as an 
investigator, a declaration that under the conditions which prevail 
in our state colleges I regard as an unmitigated, though perhaps 
comfortable fallacy. It is, perhaps, true that a specialist may derive 
benefit from preparing a brief course of lectures relating to his 
special subjects of investigation, for in this way he is forced to 
clarify disputed points; but to say that the constant grind of teach- 
ing three, two, or even one hour a day, generally in elementary 
work, as do nearly all American college professors, is a help and 
inspiration, I regard as an absurd proposition." He then went on 
the offensive. He declared the type of investigation actually at- 
tempted by those required to divide their time between teaching 
and research did not aim in many instances to discover new truth, 
but to illustrate the application of old truths and is really an in- 
structional effort rather than one of real inquiry and should be so 
classified. "Let us not confuse our aims or misuse our funds (he 
said). Research of the most severe kind is demanded, and the ex- 
periment station (Hatch) fund is a research fund." 

Reactions to Jordan's powerfully delivered address were mixed. 
The comments made by Director I. P. Roberts of the Cornell Sta- 


tion in this connection were especially interesting. He maintained 
a "station should function primarily as a diffuser of improved 
methods — and only secondarily as an investigating agency. It 
should concentrate on rural instruction until the farming commu- 
nity, at a time far in the future, had fully exploited the technologi- 
cal capabilities of the information already known, had been fully 
exploited. Not until that time, Roberts contended, "should the 
stations direct the main part of (their) effort... to ward original re- 
search." The views of the two New York directors could hardly 
have differed more. Jordan won the respect of all who heard him 
that day. But most College of Agriculture administrators were 
more comfortable with the views presented by Roberts. Jordan 
won the near unanimous support of station directors, notably, 
those of William A. Henry of the Wisconsin Station. Henry was 
important not only because he had served as President of the As- 
sociation, but in his presidential address of 1892 he had voiced 
much the same objections Jordan did in 1897, to station staff 
members being obliged to both teach and do research. 

As a featured speaker at the 1900 convention of the Association, 
Jordan had another opportunity to win acceptance of his thesis. 
His address was reported to have been most effective with him 
"deftly displaying the scholarly incisiveness which had become 
his trademark." In effect, he appealed for an interpretation of the 
Hatch Act that would have refuted the Roberts' thesis. But most 
of all, Jordan deplored the small quantity of truly original re- 
search that had been realized since passage of the Hatch Act in 
1887. This situation, he naturally charged, was a result of the sta- 
tion teacher-investigator having had too little time to pursue re- 
search in depth. 

Meanwhile, Director Henry waited patiently for the close of 
Jordan's address. When this occurred, he quickly presented a 
resolution for reducing the teaching load of Hatch paid staff 
members. Unfortunately, the rules of order prevented the Asso- 
ciation from acting on his resolution. Undaunted, Henry intro- 
duced the same resolution at the 1901 convention. In so doing, he 
bluntly accused the college presidents and trustees of forcing 
heavy teaching duties on Hatch paid investigators. His charges 
produced the same storm of protests that his 1900 proposal had 
created and his resolution was tabled. Unable to gain his goal 
through direct action, Henry decided to follow a different course. 
A movement was under way at this time to revise the constitu- 
tion of the Association, and Henry sought and gained member- 
ship on the Revision Committee. Largely through his leadership, 
a new plan was adopted by the Association in 1903 to not only 

New Biology and Dairy Building, 
Sturtevant Hall — 1898. 

point up the professional differences between station directors and 
college presidents, but it enabled the director division of the Asso- 
ciation to place Jordan on its potent executive committee. And, they 
kept him there as their principal spokesman over the following 15 

years. 3 

The big local news of 1897 was the granting of funds for the con- 
struction of the Biological and Dairy Building. The Legislature ap- 
propriated $41,000 for this purpose. Work on the building started in 
September 1897, and the structure was completed a year later. An 
additional greenhouse and a poultry house were also added. The 
Biological and Dairy Building was dedicated September 21, 1898. 
Some 3,000 persons attended the occasion. The speaking part of the 
program was held in a tent with a seating capacity of some 2,000 
persons! The keynote speaker was James Wilson, U. S. Secretary of 
Agriculture. Those who followed him were: W. D. Hoard, former 
governor of Wisconsin; I. P. Roberts, Dean of the College of Agricul- 
ture at Cornell; and R. E. Jones, President of Hobart College. In the 
evening, the Station's Board of Control hosted a reception for all 
comers. The report is that the rooms of the new building remained 
crowded until a late hour. 4 

As reported in the preceding chapter, the Station was made re- 
sponsible, in 1891, for inspecting, by chemical analysis, samples 
of the commercial fertilizers being sold in the State. No additional 
regulatory work was assigned to the Station until 1898. The prod- 
uct to be inspected then was the insecticide Paris Green. The first 
year samples of Paris Green were received from 23 New York 
suppliers. Unofficial inspections were also made of seven propri- 


etary insecticidal products under the trade names of: Paragrene, 
Black Death, Slug Shot, London Purple, Laurel Green, Smiths 
Electric Vermin Exterminator, and Bug Death. 5 On May 3, 1899, 
the Legislature passed a bill providing for the inspection of con- 
centrated feeding stuffs by the Geneva Station. This was a major 
new assignment, comparable in work volume to the fertilizer 
project. 6 In 1900, the Station received a fourth regulatory respon- 
sibility. This time the glassware used in conducting the Babcock 
test for the butterfat content of milk and cream was to be tested 
for accuracy. 7 

Considering Jordan's strongly held view that an experiment 
station's primary mission was research, how could he accept the 
inclusion of so many essentially non-research activities in the 
Station's program? He probably had no choice. He had inherited 
the highly successful fertilizer inspection program. And, he recog- 
nized that major material gains had come to the Station from this 
program, including, of course, the much needed chemical labora- 
tory. But he insisted in making a clear distinction between the re- 
search and regulatory parts of the Station's program. He put it this 
way: "This (inspection) work is provided for by special funds and 
is not allowed to interfere with the fundamental purpose of the 
Station, because it is assigned to a special force of men who are 
not in any way related to investigational functions." Lest he be 
misunderstood, he went on to say: "The value of this inspection is 
unquestioned. Probably no experiment station effort has been of 
more direct financial benefit (to the growers)." 8 

The Legislature of 1904 enacted some legislation that materially af- 
fected the status of the Station and its administration. Redefined 
were the responsibilities of both the Board of Control and Director. 
The Commissioner of Agriculture became an ex officio member of 
the Board of Control. Closer relations also were established, there- 
after, between the Station and the State Department of Agriculture. 
The most important change made, however, was the transfer of the 
administration and enforcement of the inspection laws from the 
Station's director to the Commission of Agriculture. This change 
apparently did not mean the Department had become dissatisfied 
with the Director's handling of this responsibility. Rather, the Legis- 
lature apparently believed the administration of all agricultural 
laws properly should be placed under one authority, namely, that 
of the Commissioner of Agriculture. The analytical part of the 
Station's four regulatory programs, however, would continue to be 
conducted at Geneva. The Director also was given the authority to 
publish the results of these analyses and to use this information 
in bulletins reporting research work. 9 

■— 37- 

View ofParrott Hall south lawn in 

As established earlier, up to 1904, Jordan was best known in the 
Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment 
Station circles as the leader of those who maintained Hatch funds 
were to be used primarily for the conduct of original research. 
However, in 1904 he, and all members of the Association, became 
alarmed about a provision included in a pending appropriation 
bill for the U. S. Department of Agriculture. It would have made 
the state stations subordinate to the federal Department of Agricul- 
ture. This legislation was proposed in spite of the fact that Con- 
gressman H. C. Adams had introduced a bill that would not only 
continue the independent status of the state station but would pro- 
vide additional funding for them. 

The Executive Committee realized the Association was confronted 
by a situation requiring both immediate and forceful action. So, 
first it asked the chairmen of the House and Senate Agricultural 
Committees to delete the offending subordination section in the 
Department's pending bill. This request was granted. Next, they 
decided to make passage of the Adams bill the Association's next 
order of business. However, they realized a more basic issue was 
involved here. While the federal government had established both 
the federal Department of Agriculture and the state stations, it had 
favored only the former in granting growth funds. Did the federal 
government intend to continue this one-sided policy? The Execu- 
tive Committee decided it must seek an answer to this question 
from the Congress. 

■ — 38- 

The Executive Committee was granted an opportunity to present 
its case before the House Committee on Agriculture in mid-January 
1905. Jordan was selected to be the Association's principal spokes- 
man. 10 In his opening remarks, Jordan commended Congress for its 
foresight in providing a needed service to agriculture by creating 
the state stations through the Hatch Act in 1887. This action was 
much appreciated, he said, by the farmers of America. Their worth 
to them, he continued, is evident from the fact that they obtained 
additional research funds from their state legislatures. Collectively 
these funds now equaled those provided, nationwide, by the Hatch 
Act. Jordan then said the record the stations have made "proved be- 
yond question the success of the Hatch system. (And this being the 
case) Congress should encourage not discourage or impede a 
movement firmly approved by popular judgment." 

At this juncture Jordan posed this vital question: What can be 
made of the fact that while the federal government created both 
the Department of Agriculture and state stations, no additional 
funding had been given to the latter institutions, whereas, over 
the same period Department funds had increased four-fold? 
Moreover, the operational budget for only one bureau, Plant In- 
dustry, was larger in 1904 than the total Hatch appropriations. 
Did this mean, he asked, that Congress intended to continue and 
expand this funding imbalance with the object of creating a cen- 
tralized federal research system and, at the same time, "reduce 
(the state stations) to a minor and subordinate position?" Thus, 
Jordan squarely placed on Congress the responsibility of deter- 
mining the future status of the state stations. All attending the 
hearing agreed Jordan had presented the Association's case in a 
most dramatic and effective way. 

While, as noted earlier, passage of the Adams Bill was a prime 
objective of the Association, this was not mentioned directly by 
those speaking that day for the Association. They knew that 
Adams was present and would know best how to exploit what 
was said here to obtain action on his bill. Months went by, how- 
ever, before he had gained sufficient support for passage of the 
bill. This took place early in 1906 with President Theodore 
Roosevelt signing it March 11. (Considering what Jordan did to 
help gain passage of the Adams Bill, it is ironic to observe what 
he got for his own institution out of the legislation. It was 10 per 
cent of the $15,000 to be assigned annually to New York.) The 
state stations movement reached an important milestone with the 
passage of the Adams Act. It went a long way towards achieving 
a new policy in which the federal and state governments recog- 
nized they had a joint responsibility to provide adequate funding 

-39— ~ 

of the state stations. The Geneva Station is proud of the part Jor- 
dan played in achieving the foregoing ends." 

On August 29, 1907, the Geneva Station celebrated its 25th anni- 
versary. It was a big day — not only for the Station but also for the 
city of Geneva. Many distinguished persons visited Geneva that 
day. Included were Governor Charles Evans Hughes; W. O. Th- 
ompson, president of Ohio State University; Dean Liberty Hyde 
Bailey of the College of Agriculture at Cornell; A. C. True, direc- 
tor of the federal office of experiment stations; and others. Here 
are some excerpts from the account of the occasion that appeared 
that day in the Geneva Daily Times: "Ideal weather marked the 
day... The city of Geneva united with the Station in welcoming 
the Governor who arrived on the 9:01 A.M. train of the New York 
Central railroad. Waiting (his) coming were the mayor and other 
officials and dignitaries... the Geneva city band and Company B of 
the New York National Guard. Under this escort the Governor 
was conducted to the Armory where a short informal reception 
was held. (Ten automobiles then) were provided for the leading 
members of the party (for a tour of the city and environs). The 
line of machines decorated with flags made an interesting and 
picturesque sight which was enjoyed (by all). ..along the route.... 
Upon arriving at the Experiment Station the (touring) visitors 
found the large tent (there) filled to its utmost capacity, probably 
3,000 being assembled." 

This was a memorable occasion. Jordan, the Board of Control, 
and the Station's staff must have received a great deal of satisfac- 
tion with the outcome. A special 362-page 25th Anniversary Re- 
port was issued for the occasion. It not only included an account 
of what transpired anniversary day, but also provided summary 
reports of the accomplishments of the several departments over 
the Station's first 25 years. It was published as Part III of the An- 
nual Report of 1907. Part II (published in 1908) was the second of 
the Geneva Station Fruit Books, entitled Grapes of New York. The 
latter is a beautifully illustrated (often in color) 564-page volume 
on folio-sized pages. 

In 1907, Dean Bailey and Jordan found themselves in serious dis- 
agreement with the federal Bureau of Plant Industry over some 
studies the Bureau elected to conduct at Romulus, NY, on a grape 
problem. The issue was complicated from the fact that the grower 
involved had sought help from the Department of Agriculture at 
Albany. This agency, in turn, passed the request along to Wash- 
ington. Neither New York Station had been informed of the 
Bureau's decision to conduct some tests at Romulus. This deci- 


sion raised this question: Did a federal research agency have the 
right to undertake independent studies on local problems where 
state research agencies were available for this purpose? Bailey 
and Jordan thought not. And both made strong public statements 
to this effect. A heated letter exchange also took place between 
Bailey and B. T. Galloway head of the Bureau of Plant Industry 
Given time, "problems" like this have a way of solving them- 
selves. For as the two Stations grew stronger and demonstrated 
their competence to solve most local problems, it apparently 
rarely occurred to growers to seek out-of-state help. 12 

As we have seen, Jordan became highly regarded for the part 
he played over the formative years of the State Agricultural 
Experiment Station Movement and the kind of Station he 
produced at Geneva. Did he make an equally good record in 
his personal relationships with members of the Station's 
staff? Initially, in 1907, he prepared a pocket-sized 12-page 
pamphlet entitled: New York Agricultural Experiment Station: 
Policy and Regulations. With regard to his personal relations 
with the staff and their families, here are some comments 
made by Professor Richard Wellington taken from his oral 
history as recorded by interviewer G. P. Colman during the 
summer of 1962. "When I came to the Station I expected to 
stay one year and then return to my father's farm in Massa- 
chusetts. After working one year under Jordan, I was so 
pleased with the work and with his administration that I con- 
tinued to serve under him. Jordan was a dynamic individual. 
He would have made a good army officer. He had full com- 
mand but was very considerate of everyone who worked un- 
der him regardless of whether he was a workman or a mem- 
ber of the staff. He had a personal interest in everyone — even 
with the families of the Station workers. For instance, he took 
a special interest in every child that was born. I can remem- 
ber when he said 'This is the 80th child that has been born 
under my administration.' . . . He always welcomed the 
young folks to his house and at Thanksgiving he always in- 
vited all the unmarried people. ... In 1908, he had five houses 
built for the staff in order to promote a better sociability and 

to aid in holding them at the station He was a man that 

worked largely through the heads of departments. He did 
not hold staff meetings, ... He was absolutely honest and sin- 
cere. ... Everything was straight forward. He was quite proud 
of his Indian blood. He always said he was more American 
than anyone at the station. I believe he attributed his interest 
in hunting and fishing to his Indian blood." 13 These 1962 re- 
flections by Professor Wellington provide us with an excel- 

-41 — 

lent insight to Jordan the man and his interactions with pro- 
fessional staff and the workers. 

Strained relations existed between the two New York stations in 
1896 when Jordan became director. Both were still in their forma- 
tive years and had become somewhat competitive. Jordan quickly 
sought to correct this situation and found Cornell officials readily 
receptive to his overtures. A most satisfactory understanding was 
soon established, and this cordial working relationship continued 
over the remainder of the years Jordan served as director. This 
outcome can be largely attributed to the relationship developed 
between Jordan and Liberty Hyde Bailey both before and after 
the latter became Dean of the College of Agriculture. It was based 
on mutual admiration and respect. The high regard Cornell offi- 
cials had for Jordan is further illustrated in what took place 
shortly before the Geneva Station became a unit of the College of 
Agriculture. Colman informs us that "by 1920 preparations were 
well under way to unify the administration of the (two stations) 
pending the retirement of Director Jordan." 14 It was thoughtful of 
those planning such action to delay effecting it until after Jordan's 
period of service had run its natural course. 

In 1909, the Legislature appropriated $10,000 to the Geneva Sta- 
tion for the establishment of a grape sub-station in Chautauqua 
County. Thirty acres of land were leased for this purpose at 
Fredonia. Located here was a horticulturist (F. E. Gladwin), a 
plant pathologist (Donald Reddick), and an entomologist (F. Z. 
Hartzell). 15 During the next 73 years, the period covered in this 
history, a great deal of valuable research has been conducted at 
this sub-station. New York grape growers, particularly those in 
the lands bordering Lake Erie, have greatly appreciated the guid- 
ance the research conducted here has provided. 

The Geneva Station became a unit of the College of Agriculture 
two years after Jordan had retired. Had this relationship been 
sought by Jordan and the Station's Board of Control? Not in this 
form. However, Jordan appears to have sensed the two New York 
stations could not go their separate ways indefinitely. So finally, 
in 1915, he formally proposed an "affiliation" between the 
Geneva Station and the College of Agriculture. In his plan, the 
Station would continue its autonomy. But, some staff members of 
the two stations would serve as "affiliated" members of the other 
station. (This part of his plan was adopted in 1920 when eight 
Cornell faculty members were designated as affiliate members of 
the Geneva Station's staff.) In those areas where the two stations 
had a common interest, future studies would be conducted on a 


Station Staff, 1921. 

cooperative basis. All publications reporting research conducted 
under these arrangements would carry a statement attesting to 
that fact. Jordan also pointed out that there were some rather un- 
usual opportunities for graduate study at Geneva. He suggested 
the desirability of entering into a reciprocal arrangement 
whereby some Cornell graduate students could conduct their the- 
sis research at Geneva, while junior members of the Station's staff 
seeking an advanced degree could fulfill their laboratory-class- 
room requirements at Ithaca. The specifics of what Jordan pro- 
posed here are less important than the fact an affiliation proposal 
was made. 16 

Following his successes in obtaining funds from the Legislature 
to construct the Biological and Dairy Building in 1897 and a resi- 
dence for the director in 1900, Jordan next sought funding for an 
administration building. It would provide: an auditorium, house 
administration operations, the library, a repository for Station 
publications, a mailing room, and provide office space for some 
of the staff. This time, the response from Albany was neither im- 
mediate nor encouraging. Three times the Legislature appropri- 
ated funds for the building only to have them disallowed by the 
governor. Jordan, however, did not give up, and finally his perse- 
verance was rewarded. Funds in the amount of $100,000 were ap- 
propriated for the building in 1916. 17 It was completed in 1918. 

The building was dedicated August 31, 1918. The day-time pro- 
gram was a speaking affair featuring an address by Governor 
Charles S. Whitman. Other speakers included the U. S. Assistant 

• — 43 — 

Secretary of Agriculture, Clarence Onsley; L. H. Bailey; and Jor- 
dan. In introducing Jordan, who was the final speaker that day, 
Commissioner of Agriculture Charles S. Wilson revealed that the 
Station's Board of Control had met in special session the evening 
before and had decided to name the new building Jordan Hall. 
This action appears to have come as a complete surprise to Jor- 
dan. So Jordan Hall it became. 

As reported by The Geneva Daily Times, the evening program 
was: "A beautiful spectacle.... The production was unusually 
elaborate and the numerous stage settings were most realistic." 
The program consisted of a series of tableaus and episodes. Par- 
ticipating in the production was a cast of some 140 persons 
drawn from the Station's staff, their families, and some non-sta- 
tion Genevans. The program opened with a Dance of the Seasons 
and involved 30 young women. Episode I depicted "The Agri- 
culture of a Primitive People," and had Indians gathering their 
winter's food. The theme of Episode II was "The Dependence of 
the Colonists on the Abundance of Nature." Illustrated was work 
and pleasure at a corn-husking party. The scene for Episode III 
was a country store and brought out the skepticism that pre- 
vailed in 1875 over the value of agricultural research. The latter 
half of the program was devoted to the history of the Geneva 
Station up to 1918. The final tableau illustrated the seven Station 
departments through costumes. Gnomes represented Agronomy; 
culture tubes, Bacteriology; mushrooms, Botany; flasks, Chemis- 
try; milkmaids, Dairy; butterflies, Entomology; and fruits, Horti- 
culture. 18 Obviously, August 31, 1918, was a big day in the life of 
the Geneva Station. 

In 1896, Jordan assigned each staff member to one of five newly 
created Departments. These units were renamed Divisions in 
1914. This designation remained in effect until 1952 when again 
they were called Departments. They have been so called from 
1953 to date. The number of Departments /Divisions expanded 
during Jordan's administration to nine as follows: agronomy, ani- 
mal husbandry, bacteriology, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, 
dairying, entomology, and horticulture. See Chapter XI for fur- 
ther information of the organization of Station research activities 
though 1982. 

The nation's involvement in World War I in 1917 affected the 
lives of all Americans and their institutions. A sizable number of 
Station personnel entered military or other war-related services. 
The war's effect on the Station's program consisted mostly of a 
general slowing of its research output. This situation was evident 


Meeting on the lawn east of 
Parrott Hall. 

not only during 1917 and 1918 but for several years thereafter. 
Americans learned in 1917 that they were expected to not only 
produce enough food for themselves but be an important food 
source for their European allies. Jordan saw a role here for the 
Geneva Station. And, he took an active part in involving the Sta- 
tion in all state and national programs designed to achieve 
greater food production and conservation. He himself served as 
chairman of the Federal Milk Commission for the Middle States. 

In 1917, Jordan was given a little known but highly important 
war-time assignment. He was asked to serve as chairman of a 
committee to resolve a jurisdictional dispute that had arisen be- 
tween Herbert Hoover, as U. S. Food Administrator, and the U. S. 
Department of Agriculture. But first, what lead up to Jordan's in- 
volvement in this affair? After the United States had entered 
World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson appointed 
Hoover U. S. Food Administrator under the Lever Act. Hoover 
had made a remarkable record in providing food and clothing for 
war-torn Belgium from 1914 to 1917. With this record, he was the 
obvious choice to administer the food part of America's contribu- 
tion to the allied war effort. Upon appointment, Hoover immedi- 
ately launched a wide-ranging program for stimulating food pro- 
duction, checking hoarding and speculation, and promoting food 
conservation. It was not long, however, before the Department of 
Agriculture challenged his right to develop such a massive inde- 
pendent program, at least some of which, they maintained, le- 
gally fell within their domain. Apparently President Wilson had 


sensed such a problem might arise, for in appointing Hoover 
Food Administrator May 19, 1917, he wrote: "It is proposed to 
draw a sharp line of distinction between the normal activities 
of the government represented in the Department of Agricul- 
ture in reference to food production, conservation, and mar- 
keting, on the one hand, and the emergency activities necessi- 
tated by the war in reference to the regulation of food distri- 
bution and consumption on the other." 19 Obviously the "sharp 
line" the President drew was an insufficient barrier to avert a 
collision of interests between the two parties. 

So, it was at this time that Jordan's committee was appointed. 
What followed was a series of committee meetings and ex- 
changes of letters and other documents between Jordan and 
the two agencies. 20 Eventually the dispute was settled. If there 
was a winner it was Hoover. For there is no evidence he al- 
tered any part of the course he undertook initially. It is a mat- 
ter of record, too, that Hoover won the wholehearted coopera- 
tion of the American people in his efforts. And, it is also gen- 
erally recognized that what he did to manage our food pro- 
duction so that much of it was sent to help feed our allies was 
a masterful achievement. 

Back to internal affairs. At war's end, the Station found its 
staff salary scale non-competitive, generally, with comparable 
industrial and publicly supported agricultural research insti- 
tutions. While this deficiency was gradually corrected, it did 
not occur until after some of the Station's more promising 
young staff had left for more lucrative posts. There were some 
senior staff members, including Jordan, who were not wholly 
unhappy with this situation. They believed the Geneva Station 
had acquired a reputation of being an excellent training or 
proving center for fledgling scientists. 

In another area, Jordan, in his final year in office, elected to as- 
sign new titles to the staff. Using the horticulturists as the ex- 
ample, here is how the several grades were named: a former 
Horticulturist became a Chief in Research (Horticulture); an 
Associate Horticulturist became an Associate in Research 
(Horticulture); and an Assistant Horticulturist became an As- 
sistant in Research (Horticulture). Even though the Station be- 
came a unit of Cornell University in 1923, the first two titles 
given above were not given academic titles until 1943. Chiefs 
in Research were then assigned the title of Professor, Associ- 
ates in Research became Assistant Professors, while Assistants 
in Research became Investigators. 


Of the staff appointments Jordan made in 1920, three merit spe- 
cial mention. The first of these was James D. Luckett who, on 
March 1, became Editor and Librarian. He succeeded Frank H. 
Hall who had served in that capacity over the preceding 22 
years. Luckett proved an excellent choice. On July 1, Richard 
Wellington was appointed Associate in Research (Horticulture). 
This was his second appointment to the Geneva Station's staff 
for he had served here from 1906 to 1913 as an Assistant Horti- 
culturist. In 1913, he was appointed Pomologist of the Minne- 
sota Experiment Station and then, in 1919, Professor of Veg- 
etable Gardening at the University of Maryland. The third 1920 
noteworthy appointee was James S. Lawson. He became the 
Geneva Station's first Museum Preparator. Lawson was skilled 
in the preparation of wax models of a variety of subjects. These 
included varieties of fruits and vegetables, and insect and dis- 
ease injuries to these plants. Perhaps the best models he pre- 
pared, however, were those of a series of fleshy fungi - mush- 
rooms, toadstools, puffballs, etc. A few of those are on display 
today in the foyer of Barton Laboratory and Jordan Hall. 
Lawson was only in residence at Geneva during the summer 
months of his service period. He resigned in 1935. 21 Miss Clara 
L. Barnes was appointed Museum Preparator May 23, 1936. She 
served in this capacity until 1939 when the position was aban- 
doned due to lack of funding. 22 

After 25 years of most distinguished service, Jordan retired 
June 30, 1921. The Geneva Station is greatly in his debt. It can 
be said the Station truly "came of age" under his leadership. 
In 1896, he undertook the direction of a small struggling insti- 
tution with an uncertain future and built it into one of the 
more highly respected research centers of its kind in the 

As we have seen, Jordan's accomplishments on the national 
scene were equally impressive. He was a pioneer and leader in 
the American agricultural experiment station movement. The 
Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experi- 
ment Stations provided him with a forum for presenting his 
views on what he so strongly believed should and should not 
constitute the duties of an experiment station staff. He held 
that the primary mission of an experiment station staff was 
the conduct of original research. Classroom teaching and ex- 
tension responsibilities, if any, should constitute only a minor 
part of their programs. These were not popular views around 
the turn of the century. But how, in retrospect, did Jordan's 
peers judge him? That question is well answered in a four-page 


Director and Mrs. Jordan prepared 
to leave for retirement in Maine. 

editorial appearing in the federal Experiment Station Record on 
the occasion of his retirement. Here is an excerpt from that state- 
ment: "The influence of such a vigorous, clear-visioned (person) 
in the councils of the experiment stations for a period of thirty-six 
years can hardly be overestimated. It is apparent only after a re- 
view of the things he contended for and the course which devel- 
opment has taken. He has been a leader in the march of progress. 
He will be greatly missed in the meetings of the Association and 
in his personal relations with those engaged in agricultural re- 
search." 23 

On June 6, 1921, Director and Mrs. Jordan departed the Station 
for his retirement home in Maine in a car driven by his chauffeur. 
A copy of his poignant letter to his secretary, Miss Jessie Sperry, 
gives insight to his loyalty to the Station and his relations with 




June 6 1921 
You dear Girl 

Here we are at Utica, one hundred miles away from 
Geneva. When I registered tonight - 1 felt like a man without 
a Country. We had a very pleasant journey so far and could 
have gone farther hut we are both tired & we shall seek our 
downy (?) couch very soon. Tomorrow we go as far as 
Schenectady, where we are to stay until morning. 

For lunch, or dinner, we had clams & strawberry 
short cake. The lunch on the way was taken beside the road 
and consisted of sandwiches, cup cakes, fried cakes (fresh) 
coffee & pickles. I ate too much. 

The picture of you people watching us off has followed me all 
day. Give my (our) best regards to the good folks we have left 

Very sincerely, 
This Old Director 

McLeod is a fine chauffeur. 



' e has left to the 
members of this 
Staff a legacy of work well 
done, a life well spent, and a 
record of great accomplish- 
ment as scientist, adminis- 
trator, and citizen. For all 
this we make heartfelt 
acknowledgment. We are 
grateful that he could live to 
the fullness of years and 
witness the consummation 
of many of his most trea- 
sured ambitions for this Sta- 
tion. Let us record here our 
enduring regard for him as 
man and Director, and pass 
on to those who are to suc- 
ceed us the heritage of his 
achievements." 24 

Jordan died at Orono, Maine, May 8, 1931 at age 79. To com- 
memorate his passing the Geneva Station staff met May 21, 1931 
and adopted a formal resolution which expressed the high regard 
it had for him. The resolution follows: 

"Jordan was born at Raymond, Maine, October 27, 1851, and died 
at Orono, Maine, May 8, 1931. He began his life work as an assis- 
tant in the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 1878; 
next he served four years at the Pennsylvania Experiment Station; 
then eleven years as director of the Maine Experiment Station; 
and finally twenty-five years as director of this Station. Thus, his 
career was coincident with the development of experiment sta- 
tions in the United States. 

"He served agriculture efficiently in this State and in the Nation. 
He believed that the most useful work an experiment station can 
do is to conduct rigidly scientific investigations of agricultural 
problems. To his insistence upon this fundamental principle and 
to his exceptional ability in expounding it to his colleagues and to 
the public, is due in large measure, to the present high standing 
of the United States in the field of agricultural science and practice. 

"This institution and its Staff were his chief concern for thirty- 
five years. Altho exacting in his standards of workmanship, he 
directed those associated with him sympathetically, kindly, and 
justly. He was, besides, to each member of his Staff a guardian 
and counselor. 

"Jordan was, first of all, a man of unflinching integrity — a vigor- 
ous, high-minded advocate of truth. In a busy life he found time 
to take an active part in the affairs of his church, community, and 
State. Invariably, he stood for righteousness. He was in every re- 
spect a good citizen. 

"He has left to the members of this Staff a legacy of work well 
done, a life well spent, and a record of great accomplishment as 
scientist, administrator, and citizen. For all this we make heartfelt 
acknowledgment. We are grateful that he could live to the full- 
ness of years and witness the consummation of many of his most 
treasured ambitions for this Station. Let us record here our endur- 
ing regard for him as man and Director, and pass on to those who 
are to succeed us the heritage of his achievements." 24 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1886, pp. 17-18. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1896, p. 7-24. 

3 USDA Misc. Publ. 904 (1962), pp. 75-6, 86-8. 

-49~— - 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1898, pp. 7-21. 

5 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1899, pp. 237-248, (Bui. 165). 

6 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1899, pp. 35-74, (Bui. 166). 

7 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1900, pp. 444-448. (Bui. 178). 

8 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1907, Part III, p. 64. 

9 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1904, 10. Laws of New York, Chapters 439, 567, and 570. 

10 USDA Misc. Publ. 904 (1962), p. 103. 

11 USDA Misc. Publ. 904 (1962), pp. 97-107. 

12 Colman, G. P. 1963. A History of the New York State College of Agriculture at 
Cornell University, pp. 195-7. 

13 Wellington, R., 1962 Oral History, pp. 32, 33, 44. 

14 Colman, G. P., 1963. A History of the New York State College of Agriculture at 
Cornell University: p. 288. 

15 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1909, pp. 443-4. 

16 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1915, pp. 624-5. 

17 NYSAES Arm. Rpt. 1916, p. 536. 

18 Geneva Daily Times, Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, 1918. Also a printed copy of the pro- 

19 The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover. U. S. Food Administration 1917-19, p. 251. 

20 The account given here is based on recollections provided P. J. Chapman in 
1982 by Emeritus Professor G. J. Hucker of the Geneva Station's staff. He and 
his wife visited Jordan in the late 1920s at his retirement home in Orono, 
Maine. When they were about to leave Jordan told Hucker he had something 
he would like to give him on condition it would not be made public until after 
his death. The item was the record of this committee's activities in 1917. 
Hucker accepted the packet and brought it back to Geneva, placing it in a 
safe. Following Jordan's death in 1931, Hucker, along with several colleagues, 
examined the packet's contents in some detail. He then decided to send it to 
the Cornell University Archives for filing. In 1982 the writer asked the archi- 
vist there for the packet. She, unfortunately, was unable to find it. She and 
others at Cornell suggested it might have been given either to the Herbert 
Hoover Library at West Branch, Iowa, or to the Hoover Institution at Stanford 
University. Both of these institutions were contacted but with negative results. 

21 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1936, p. 11. 

22 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1939, p. 11. 

23 Geneva Exp. Sta. Record 45, pp. 305-9; NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1921, pp. 9-11. 

24 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1931, pp. 18-19. 

— 50 — - 

Roscoe W. Thatcher 

Roscoe W. Thatcher. 

Roscoe W. Thatcher became the Geneva Station's fourth 
director on July 1, 1921. After graduating from the Uni- 
versity of Nebraska in 1898 with a B. S. degree, he 
served for two years as an assistant chemist in the Nebraska Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station. In 1901, he accepted a similar post at 
the Washington Agricultural Experiment Station. Here, he ad- 
vanced through the ranks to become Director of the Station in 
1907, and, in 1910, acquired the additional duties of Head of the 
Department of Agriculture. In 1913, he joined the staff of the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota as a professor of plant chemistry and as 
plant chemist of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. 
After serving one year (1916-1917) as Assistant Director of the 
Station, he was named Director of the Station and Dean of the 
Department of Agriculture. He occupied these posts until 1921 
when he came to Geneva. 1 

Thatcher arrived at Geneva at a time critical in the life of the Sta- 
tion. All signs pointed to the probability the Station would soon 
lose its independent status and become a unit of the College of 
Agriculture at Cornell University. For, as reported in the previous 
chapter, by 1920, preparations were well under way to effect this 
change. 2 Undoubtedly, Thatcher had been informed of this prob- 
able outcome prior to coming to Geneva. However, since unifica- 
tion had not taken place when he assumed office, he appears to 
have decided to go ahead with plans he had for the Station in the 
belief they would be acceptable whether he would be answerable 
to the Station's Board of Control or to the Cornell administration. 

Shortly after Thatcher became Director, U. P. Hedrick, Chief in 
Research (Horticulture), was assigned the additional duties of 
Vice Director of the Station. Several operational changes also 
were made. One was the holding of regular monthly staff meet- 
ings — a Geneva Station first. Other changes involved the organi- 
zation of the Station's program. First, each separate study would 


become a project; and upon initiation would require the prepara- 
tion of a formal statement setting forth the objectives of the study, 
the procedures that would be followed, and other relevant infor- 
mation. A progress report would then be prepared annually on 
each project. One result of these changes was the publication of 
seven complete and very informative Annual Reports over the 
Thatcher years. If the staff was unhappy about the additional 
"paperwork" these new practices entailed, no such reaction has 
been reported. As will be noted later, Thatcher received consider- 
able opposition to these practices from the faculty of the College 
of Agriculture when, after he became Director of the Cornell Sta- 
tion in 1923, he proposed the adoption of the Geneva procedures 
by the Cornell Station. 

When Thatcher became director, he found the Legislature had ap- 
propriated a budget of $203,400 for fiscal year 1921-1922. This was 
$4,400 smaller than for 1920-1921. He naturally was disappointed 
with this loss but was more concerned with the general inad- 
equacy of the budget. He realized that both State and Federal gov- 
ernments still felt obliged to live within the tight fiscal constraints 
created by World War I. He believed, however, the time had come 
for the State to start providing the Station with additional funds 
so that certain long-neglected segments of New York agriculture 
could be properly served. To inform the legislature of these needs, 
he decided to provide a specific plan for the development of the 
Station over the next decade. Significant progress was made in 
preparing this document by year's end, and a tentative draft of it 
was prepared early in 1922. This was then reviewed with the 
Station's Staff, the administrative official of the College of Agricul- 
ture, with farm leaders, and with others. After making some 
changes, as a result of these conferences, a final draft was submit- 
ted to the Board of Control for their consideration. At their May 
23, 1922, meeting, the plan won its unanimous approval. 

In the introduction of this document, Thatcher advised, "It will 
be understood that the presentation of this program does not 
mean that we propose to ask for funds to carry out all of its de- 
tails into effect at any one time; but rather that it will serve as a 
guide by means of which both the administration of the Station 
and the Legislature may determine whether the plans and bud- 
getary requests of any given year are in harmony with and a part 
of a well worked-out and publicly approved plan." 

Of the new lines of research proposed, two very salable requests 
were made in the horticultural field. One was to provide a re- 
search program for the State's vegetable growers that would be 


comparable to the one currently being supplied the fruit growers. 
(It will be recalled that after Jordan became director, he elected, 
because of the small size of the horticultural staff, to essentially 
limit the Division's efforts to serving the State's fruit growers.) 
The second proposal was to provide methods for preserving 
fruits and vegetables and of making food and beverage products 
out of them. This appears to be the first official proposal to con- 
duct food science research at Geneva, even though earlier work 
had been in progress. The possibilities for providing research ser- 
vice in this latter area were most extensive. 

To improve the production of field crops, Thatcher asked for the 
establishment of studies in the fields of soil physics, plant physi- 
ology, meteorology, and phenology He next requested support 
for widening the existing pest control program to include studies 
on birds and small mammal pests. For new research on foods he 
proposed the establishment of a Division of Nutrition Investiga- 
tions. Its mission would be to investigate "animal and human 
foods both from the standpoint of better economy in the use of 
food by man and animals and that of better utilization of farm 
products." In the field of dairy management, Thatcher main- 
tained the Station would be of greatest assistance to the industry 
by improving methods of producing and distributing milk and in 
providing better techniques of manufacturing butter, cheese, and 
other dairy products. He commended the Divisions of Dairying, 
Bacteriology, and Chemistry "for their splendid cooperative rela- 
tions" in the work that had been done in the foregoing area to 
date. To assure its continuation, Thatcher said, "our laboratory fa- 
cilities and staff of trained scientific workers need to be materially 

In another section, he made a strong plea for additional labora- 
tory and other work space. He pointed out that the present Sta- 
tion buildings were crowded to their limit — far beyond what they 
had been designed for originally. First of all, a major new build- 
ing was urgently needed. It would house the Divisions of Horti- 
culture, Botany, Entomology, Agronomy, and the new research 
proposed in plant physiology and phenology. A need also was ex- 
pressed for an additional greenhouse and a cold storage building. 
Thatcher finally suggested it would be wise, both in the interest 
of economy and efficiency, to provide the Station with a central 
heating plant. 

To conduct the new research proposed and to strengthen the ex- 
isting program, Thatcher said a considerably larger professional 
and labor force would be needed. He sought three new Chief in 

— 53 

Research positions, seven Associates in Research, a statistician, 
an expert illustrator, and "certain technical and laboratory as- 
sistants and assistants in research." He again pointed out he 
was not asking for the immediate fulfillment of these requests. 
Rather, it was to project a goal for the gradual fulfillment of 
them over the next decade or even longer. 3 

If what Thatcher proposed was overly ambitious, it was sound 
and readily defensible. All of the important elements of it and 
more are represented in the Station's 1982 program. 

A plan was adopted by Thatcher in 1922 to provide brief 
weekly news items to the state's newspapers and to farm 
newspapers in New York and in nearby states. These re- 
leases provided: information of seasonal interest to farmers, 
served to announce the availability of new Station publica- 
tions, and to report developments on research in progress. 
In 1922, the News Service supplied news items to about 120 
daily and 263 weekly newspapers, 82 farm newspapers, and 
all of New York's County Farm Bureaus. Through these 
means, the results of the Station's accomplishments were 
brought to the attention of a much larger audience than had 
been the case in the past. 4 

The Station was the sole or partial beneficiary of two special 
State appropriations in 1922. One 'was for work on "Methods 
of suppressing or controlling insect pests and diseases affecting 
raspberry plants." The grant was for $4,000 and W. H. Rankin, 
a plant pathologist, was placed in charge of the new project. 
The other appropriation 5 in which the Station was a partial 
beneficiary, was one made to the Cornell Station for the estab- 
lishment of the Long Island Vegetable Research Substation. Of 
the $46,050 appropriated, $38,000 was assigned to the Cornell 
Station; the balance, or $8,050, to the Geneva Station. The latter 
funds were designated "for the study of vegetable diseases and 
insect control by members of the staff of the New York State 
Experiment Station." The funds assigned to Cornell were used 
for the purchase of land, the erection of a greenhouse, remodel- 
ing an existing building, operating expenses of the physical 
plant, and to employ "a specialist in vegetable gardening." 
Thus, the management of this new substation and the conduct 
of horticultural research were made the responsibility of the 
Cornell Station. A site near Riverhead was selected for this sub- 
station. Additions to the Geneva Station's staff from this appro- 
priation were a plant pathologist (E. E. Clayton) and an ento- 
mologist (H. C. Huckett). 6 

-54 — - 

The Proposed Program of Development was reproduced in full in 
the 1922 Annual Report. Since it covered the calendar year 1922, let- 
ters of transmittal show it was not sent to the Commissioner of 
Farms and Markets and to the Governor until January 2, 1923. 7 To 
Thatcher's surprise and probable great disappointment, little con- 
sideration, apparently, was given his new development plan. 
Rather, the plan served to activate interest in an older problem. And 
this was, as Thatcher described it, "the proposed Program of 
Development... led to very active discussion at Albany of the ques- 
tion as to the future relations between this Station and the research 
work at the State College of Agriculture." The idea that some kind 
of coordination of the work of the two New York Stations should be 
achieved had long been considered. Thus, Jordan, in his 1915 An- 
nual Report, formally proposed an "affiliation" between the Cornell 
and Geneva Stations. 8 In his plan, however, the Geneva Station 
would retain its autonomy. Thatcher also pointed out that all of the 
State Stations, founded with funds provided by the federal Hatch 
Act of 1887, were made integral parts of their respective Colleges of 
Agriculture. The six founded prior to 1887, of which the Geneva 
Station, of course, was one, were more or less independent. By 
1922, however, the Geneva Station was the only totally independent 
State station in the nation. 

In view of the foregoing facts, it was not surprising that the Gover- 
nor decided the best solution of this problem would be to place the 
two Stations under one authority, namely, the College of Agricul- 
ture at Cornell. This, in fact, is what he recommended in his annual 
message to the Legislature in January 1923. Later, a bill was intro- 
duced in the Legislature providing for the transfer of the Station's 
administration from the Board of Control to Cornell University. Af- 
ter public hearings were held before committees in both Houses of 
the Legislature, the bill was passed and signed by the Governor 
May 29, 1923. The new law became effective July 1, 1923. 9 

The Board of Trustees of Cornell University met June 18, 1923 "to 
accomplish coordination of the work" of the Geneva and Ithaca Sta- 
tions. The first action taken was to assign the administration of the 
Geneva Station to the Dean of the College of Agriculture. Next, it 
was resolved (a) "that the President be empowered, effective July 1, 
1923: to appoint Thatcher, at present Director of the (Geneva) Sta- 
tion, as Director of Experiment Stations and to vest him with au- 
thority, under the Dean, to direct the staff research of the College of 
Agriculture, and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment 
Station" and (b) "make staff appointments for the (Geneva) Station 
... as per a list submitted by Director Thatcher." Finally, it was re- 
solved "that the foregoing appointments carry eligibility for mem- 

— 55 — 

Buggies near Station barns for a 
Grange meeting in the early 
1900s. This was a frequent method 
used by staff to communicate 
results of research to growers. 

bership in the Faculty of the Graduate School under the estab- 
lished regulations of the University governing such membership; 
and that membership in the Faculty of Agriculture shall be by Spe- 
cial Election." 10 

In 1923, the Station received a special appropriation of $16,800 to 
initiate some horticultural (fruit) research work in the Hudson Val- 
ley district. (Interestingly it became law May 22, 1923, or just a 
week before the bill was passed which made the Geneva Station a 
unit of the College of Agriculture). The bill stipulated that the 
studies conducted here were to be carried out on rented, not pur- 
chased, property. Underlining this point, Thatcher maintained this 
new grant should "not be regarded as establishing a permanently 
located substation in the Hudson Valley area." While he would 
have preferred to have had all funding increases simply added to 
the Station's basic budget, he still was glad, with some reserva- 
tions, to receive these special appropriations. But he still observed 
"such . . . appropriations have the disadvantages that they may 
suddenly be discontinued at any time by some inadvertence or by 
political manipulation . . . and are particularly susceptible to local 
conceptions of research needs (rather than to find lasting solutions 
of problems)." He was particularly concerned about the use of spe- 
cial appropriations to establish substations. He believed, "it would 
be most unfortunate if the State of New York were to embark upon 
a plan of establishing definitely located state-owned substations 
(over the state)." 11 All of the directors to 1982, (with the exception 
of Collier), have agreed with the position Thatcher took here. 

Currently (1999), the Geneva Station operates substations at High- 
land and Fredonia. These have fully proved their worth, and their 
future appears assured. But, from Thatcher's time forward, it be- 



VOL.1, No. I July 2, 1923 Geneva, N.Y. 

THE STATION NEWS hereby makes its bow. With seven members of our staff 
located away from Geneva, the time seems opportune to inaugurate some sort of 
a house organ to keep these men in touch with the goings and comings of their 
associates, and incidentally, to keep all of us informed of matters of more or 
less general interest to the staff. 

came increasingly clear that research at all levels could be better 
and more economically conducted at a single, adequately 
equipped and staffed research center. Such an institution eventu- 
ally emerged at Geneva. One should not assume, however, that 
research has been limited to the laboratories and experimental 
farms available at Geneva, Fredonia, and Highland. Field studies 
have been and continue to be conducted by the Geneva Station 
throughout the state to solve regional problems. 

That the Legislature of 1923 was much more interested in placing 
the two New York Stations under the management of the College 
of Agriculture than in providing the growth funds Thatcher re- 
quested, is evident from the budget he requested for fiscal 1923- 
1924 and what was granted. He sought the sum of $464,555; he 
received only $250,035. The latter sum, however, was $31,585 
larger than the 1922-1923 budget. But $16,800 of this increase 
came from the special appropriation that created the Hudson Val- 
ley fruit investigations' substation. This item was not included in 
Thatcher's master plan. The Station's budget was gradually in- 
creased every year over the Thatcher years, but more of its 
growth came from special appropriations than from additions to 
the basic budget. 

On July 1, 1923, the Station's editor, J. D. Luckett, issued a mim- 
eographed sheet with the comment: "The Station News hereby 
makes its bow." Subsequently, this in-house newsletter has been 
published regularly down to the present time (1999). In the Octo- 
ber 3, 1923, issue of the Station News, an item is included dealing 
with the annual meeting of the "Experiment Station Club." The 
writers have not been able to pinpoint just when this social orga- 
nization was founded, but it is believed to have been in either 
1921 or 1922. This club has held two or more meetings, annually, 
ever since. 


In 1923, John Street, secretary of the New York State Canners As- 
sociation, selected a committee of growers and canners to seek 
state funds for research on canning crops. After two years of 
planning, a Canning Crops Bill carrying an appropriation of 
$20,500 was introduced in the Legislature. In its original wording 
the funds requested could be used by either the Cornell or 
Geneva Station, or by both. While the bill was under review, 
however, a publication appeared that greatly disturbed the com- 
mittee. Issued by the Department of Agricultural Economics at 
Cornell, it showed, in effect, that canning crops could not be 
grown profitably in New York. The committee is reported to have 
believed this to be an erroneous finding. Consequently, through a 
canner member of the Legislature, the wording of the pending 
bill was changed to assign all of the funds to the Geneva Station. 
The Canning Crops Bill became law April 1, 1925, and effective, 
July 1. Assigned to the new program were a new horticulturist 
(C. B. Sayre), a plant pathologist (L. K. Jones), and an existing 
staff entomologist (Hugh Glasgow). Bacteriology also became di- 
rectly involved in the canning crop program through the creation 
of a new staff position July 1, 1925. Appointed to this post was C. 
S. Peterson. 12 

Two special appropriations were obtained by the Station in 1927. 
One was provided by the State Legislature, the other by the Em- 
pire Gas and Electric Association of New York. The former grant 
was supplied to conduct studies on the problems of production, 
storage, and distribution of nursery shrubs and plants. So that 
this work could be started at the beginning of the growing season 
of 1927, the sum of $5,400 was made available for use from April 
15 through June 30. Support was increased to $13,450, annually, 
for the fiscal year starting July 1, 1927. On April 15, H. B. Tukey 
was placed in charge of this new project with the title of Acting 
Chief in Research (Horticulture). For the preceding three years he 
had been located at Hudson, N. Y, serving as horticulturist of the 
Hudson Valley Fruit Investigations program. L. C. Anderson was 
selected to fill the post vacated by Tukey 13 The grant from the 
Gas and Electric Association (amount not recorded) was made to 
determine the effectiveness of light-trapping of the adults of cer- 
tain insect pests of orchard crops, as a possible control measure. 1415 
Thatcher was pleased to receive the additional funds even though 
they worsened the work-space problem, for a part of each grant 
was used to employ additional staff members. 

The summary reports on the accomplishments of the nine Divi- 
sions over the Thatcher years are found in the Division chapters, 
XII to XX. 

— 58— 

In 1927, effective September 30, Thatcher resigned to accept the 
presidency of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the 
University of Massachusetts). He had developed a fine rapport 
with the Geneva staff at all levels, and all were sorry to see him 
leave. Not only was he popular, personally, but he was respected 
and admired for the program he had developed for the Station. It 
was based, primarily, on studying the principals underlying agri- 
cultural practices. The six years of Thatcher's tenure were pro- 
ductive and eventful ones. The most eventful happening, of 
course, was the transfer of the administration of the Station from 
its Board of Control to Cornell University. This change-over was 
effected smoothly, attributably both to Thatcher's skillful han- 
dling of the problems involved and the fact that he became Direc- 
tor of both the Cornell and Geneva Stations. 

In his final report covering fiscal year 1926-1927, Thatcher in- 
cluded a five-page "Review of the Station's work for the past six 
years." 16 He pointed out here that when he became Director, in 
1921, the administration of the station was in the hands of a 
Board of Control appointed by the Governor. The Station was 
wholly independent of all other state agencies except for a nomi- 
nal responsibility to the Commissioner of Farms and Markets 
who was made an ex officio member of the Board of Control. A 
major administration problem confronting Thatcher initially was: 
What should be the relationship of the Station to other state agen- 
cies engaged in agricultural research or other activities, which 
more or less paralleled or even duplicated those of the Geneva 
Station? He decided, therefore, to develop a program for the Sta- 
tion that would fit properly into the State's general program of 
assistance to agriculture. As reported earlier, a "Program of De- 
velopment" for the Station was prepared, and it was published in 
full in the 1922 Annual Report. 

A highly important item in this program was the request for ad- 
ditional laboratory and other work space. This need would be 
fulfilled through the construction of the horticultural building, 
long requested. Most of the new research proposed in the Pro- 
gram, in fact, could only be undertaken when the building was 
made available. Although funds for this structure were requested 
annually by Thatcher, none were appropriated. He and the staff, 
naturally, were deeply disappointed in this outcome. He com- 
mended the Legislatures of 1924 and 1925 for having included 
funds for the building in the general appropriation bill only to 
have the Governor veto the item both years. While in his veto 
message of 1925 the Governor did advise that "this necessary ad- 
dition to the State's building equipment should be provided 

— 59^-— 

from the bond issue now pending," no funds were realized. 
Nor were they in the 1926 and 1927 budgets. This lack of results 
led Thatcher to write in his 1927 Annual Report, as follows: "he 
(the Governor) apparently had not been able or willing to in- 
clude this item in his (budgets)." 17 

Finally, in his "Review," Thatcher said this statement would not 
be complete without referring to two administrative changes 
made by the Legislature. 18 The first of these was "the abolition 
of the separate Board of Control and the transfer to Cornell 
University as the Agent of the State of the responsibility for the 
administration of the State Agricultural Experiment Station in 
the same way that the University is responsible for the State 
Colleges of Agriculture and Home Economics and the State Vet- 
erinary College." 19 The second administrative change made by 
the State was to transfer the State's fiscal relation of the Geneva 
Station from the former Department of Farms and Markets to 
the Department of Education. This action became effective 
January 1, 1927. 

In assessing Thatcher's administrative record we should keep 
in mind that from July 1, 1921, to June 30, 1923, his duties were 
limited to directing the affairs of the Geneva Station. After that 
latter date, he served as Director of both the Geneva and 
Cornell Stations. His accomplishments as Director of each Sta- 
tion will be assessed separately. 

Thatcher's attempts to serve as Director of the Cornell Station 
were a frustrating experience for him. He tried to use the meth- 
ods at Ithaca he had used so successfully in Washington, Min- 
nesota, and Geneva, but to little avail. The Cornell Station at 
this time has been described as being "an organization in name 
only, having neither a budget nor a director who could exercise 
authority. The majority of the faculty thoroughly opposed any 
sharp line (being drawn) between the research and teaching 
function of the college." 20 Furthermore, the faculty "offered 
considerable resistance to his (Thatcher's) attempts to evaluate 
research and his efforts to secure annual research reports from 
each department, several departments (even) dismissing his re- 
quest for these (reports) in 1927 with a condemnation of admin- 
istrative interference." 21 

Interestingly, G. F Warren, Cornell's distinguished Professor of 
Agricultural Economics, must have been one of those holding 
the foregoing views. For, in 1937, in offering some advice to 
Dean Ladd, he recommended that in seeking a department 


head or someone for a higher post he would be wise to select a 
Cornellian. He then recalled Thatcher's performance as Direc- 
tor of the Cornell Station (this, he thought) "rather typical of a 
USD A or a corporation manager's point of view, which ignored 
the Cornell tradition of professorial independence." 22 It was re- 
ported, too, in 1927, that "many of the faculty were unquestion- 
ably relieved" when Thatcher resigned. 

In his last Annual Report for 1927, 23 Director Thatcher reviewed 
his six years of accomplishments and failures. There was a three- 
fold increase in total annual Station funding and an increase 
from 57 to 76 research staff members. Further, he was largely re- 
sponsible for establishing the role of the Station as a unit of 
Cornell University and its role in agricultural research in New 
York State. He regretted his failure to obtain funding for the 
needed facilities to conduct the Station's ever increasing activi- 
ties. This failure was not for lack of trying. The State legislature 
approved funding several times only to be vetoed by the Gov- 
ernor. As we shall see in the next chapter, his successor had no 
difficulties with the next governor. It is evident that Thatcher 
laid a firm foundation for the future success of the Station. 

Did Thatcher's record, as director of the Cornell Station, reflect 
unfavorably on his overall administrative competence? Obvi- 
ously, the presidential search committee of the Massachusetts 
Agricultural College reached no such conclusion. But, perhaps 
the best answer to the foregoing question is found in the assess- 
ment Dean A. R. Mann made of his competence, which follows: 
"The retirement of R. W. Thatcher from the Directorship of the 
Station in order to accept the Presidency of the Massachusetts 
Agricultural College can be counted only as a severe loss to the 
Station and to this State. Director Thatcher brought to his 
present post a rich and successful experience both in scientific 
research and in its administration. His keen and discriminating 
judgment, his broad outlook, and his unusual clarity of mind 
respecting state policies affecting research, have made his work 
constructive to a high degree. The resources of the Station have 
increased by half during his administration, and the activities 
have grown correspondingly. He has served the State well. He 
holds the confidence and respect of the people among whom he 
has worked. While deeply regretting that New York is no 
longer to have his services, we must congratulate our sister 
state on her good fortune. Thatcher is admirably qualified for 
the presidential duties he is now to assume." 24 

61 — 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1921, p 11. 

2 Colman, G. R, 1963, A History of the New York State College of Agriculture 
at Cornell University, p. 288. 

3 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1921, pp. 12-14. 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1922, pp. 19-20. 

5 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1923, pp. 16-18. 

6 Besides these new staff members five vacant positions were filled in 1922. 
New occupants of these were: S. W. Harman (Entomology); H. G. Beattie 
(Chemistry); G. L. Slate (Horticulture); D. C. Carpenter (Dairy Chemistry); 
and F. H. Hall (formerly Editor and Librarian, reassigned to Horticulture). 

7 After July 1, 1923 when the Geneva Station became a unit of the College of 
Agriculture, future Annual Reports covered a year starting July 1 and ending 
June 30 of the following year. To adjust to this new schedule the Station's 
forty-second Annual Report covered only the first six months of 1923. 

8 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1915, pp. 624-5. 

9 Laws of New York, 1923, Chapter 852. 

10 A complete set of the Station News is available in the Geneva Station's li- 

11 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1925, pp. 13-14. Also, Sayre, C. B. History of the Depart- 
ment of Vegetable Crops transcript of talk, March 10, 1965. 

12 Laws of New York, 1925, Chapter 232. 

13 Laws of New York, 1920, Chapter 895. 

14 Laws of New York, 1922, Chapter 106. 

15 M. W. Nixon represented the Association on this project assisted by Donald 
Collins, then a Hobart College student. Collins, much later, obtained a Ph.D. 
degree in Entomology at Cornell and became the State Entomologist of New 

16 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1927, pp. 8-13. 

17 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1927, pp. 9-10. 

18 Laws of New York, 1925, Chapter 232. 

19 What Thatcher referred to here was, that while the President of Cornell Uni- 
versity delegated the Administration of the Geneva Station to the Dean of 
the College of Agriculture, the Station still retained the same status as the 
three State Colleges. In other words, it was not merely another unit of the 
College of Agriculture. 

20 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1927, pp. 10-12. 

21 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1921, p. 18. 

22 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1921, p. 19; NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1922, pp 25-26. 

23 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1927, pp. 8-13. 

24 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1927, pp. 7-8. 

- — 62- 

Frank B. Morrison 

Frank B. Morrison. 

To succeed Thatcher, Dean Mann selected Professor Frank 
B. Morrison, of the Animal Husbandry Department at 
the University of Wisconsin. A chemist by training, 
Morrison had achieved international recognition as an authority on 
animal nutrition. In large measure, this reputation was based on a 
book he authored, in collaboration with W. A. Henry, Dean of the 
Wisconsin College of Agriculture, entitled Feeds and Feeding. The 
book became the preeminent guide and reference on the feeding of 
livestock in this country and in Canada. In addition to his depart- 
mental duties, Morrison served from 1915 to 1927 as assistant direc- 
tor of the Wisconsin station, and later, when Dean Henry was on 
leave for a year and a half, as acting dean of the College of Agricul- 
ture. 1 

Of interest here, is a comparison of Dean Mann's approach to se- 
lecting Morrison in 1927 with that of Dean Ladd's selection of 
Heinicke in 1942. Dean Mann was interested in finding a new direc- 
tor to serve as director of both the Station and the College of Agri- 
culture at Ithaca. He sought the advice and support of both a Sta- 
tion and a College committee for the appointment of Professor 
Morrison in 1927. 2 Morrison's appointment became effective Octo- 
ber 1, 1927. He lived at Geneva, commuting several days a week to 

Dean Mann and the College expected much from Director 
Morrison. During his first year, he was appointed head of a New 
York State Commission to appraise the field of animal husbandry, 
which recommended significant expansion of facilities and staff at 
the College. Resources were obtained, and Director Morrison was 
offered much to come to Ithaca to carry out the recommendations 
of the Commission. He resigned from the Geneva Station in 1928 to 
accept the headship of the Department of Animal Husbandry at 
Cornell. He apparently was given the choice of possibly devoting 
the remainder of his career to administrative pursuits, full time, or 

— 63 

Grange Picnic — c. 1900. 

of directing affairs in the area of his professional specialization. He 
obviously opted for the latter course. 3 

Since Morrison's stay at Geneva was so short, he had little opportu- 
nity to contribute much of a permanent nature to the Station's pro- 
gram. However, as U. P. Hedrick, his successor, observed, "Director 
Morrison did much to reorganize the business affairs of the Station 
and made notable changes in the scientific work as well." 4 It is ap- 
propriate to include here, some summaries of several divisions up 
to and including 1928. 

In the 1920s, the division of bacteriology was actively engaged in 
the identification and classification of bacteria found in the soil, 
milk, and other dairy products, and in processed plant food prod- 
ucts. Thus, R. S. Breed served as chairman of the Bacteriology Sec- 
tion of the International Botanical Congress held in Ithaca in 1925. 
At that time, he was asked to form an international committee on 
bacteriological nomenclature and was charged with presenting rec- 
ommendations in this field at the next meeting of the Congress 
scheduled for 1930 in London. This assignment became Breed's 
central interest. The identification and classification studies con- 
ducted by other members of the division were as follows: H. J. 
Conn was concerned with the bacteria occurring in soil; G. J. 
Hucker with the organisms associated with dairy cattle, milk, 
cheese, and dairy utensils; and C. S. Peterson with those forms 
found in processed plant foods, especially tomato products and 

The fruit varietal testing and breeding programs of the horticultural 
division had reached an impressive level by 1928. Thus, 2,470 vari- 


eties of 21 fruits and nuts were then on trial on the Station grounds. 
In the fruit-breeding program, over the past 23 years, 80,000 seed- 
lings of 15 fruits had been grown, of which 41,469 had fruited. 
Ninety of these latter seedlings were judged good enough to have 
been named. These named varieties were made available to the 
public through the nonprofit New York State Fruit Testing Associa- 
tion. Organized in 1918, this venture had grown in 10 years to have 
1,200 members, with every part of the world being represented. 
(Additional information on later years is found in Chapter XL) 

The inspection of samples of fertilizers, feeding-stuffs, and pesti- 
cides had long occupied a high percentage of time of the chemistry 
division. However, increasing attention was given in the 1920s to 
research projects in a number of fields, of which those carried out 
on insecticides and fungicides are especially noteworthy. Funding 
for work in this area was made in a special appropriation starting 
in 1920. 5 Of special interest here are the studies made from about 
1927 forward on the toxic residues that may occur on sprayed fruit 
and how to remove them. This work was to become a major pro- 
gram of the chemistry division in cooperation with entomologists 
and plant pathologists in the years immediately ahead. 

Like preceding directors, Morrison deplored the State's failure to 
provide adequately for staff salaries and for the Station's many 
physical needs. He made a special plea for the construction of the 
Horticultural Research Laboratory. This structure was first pro- 
posed in 1922. Twice, funding for this proposal had been obtained 
from the State Legislature only to have lost out by having the gov- 
ernor veto the enabling bills. In his proposed budget for the Station 
in fiscal year 1928-1929, Morrison asked for funds that would have 
more than doubled the amount available in the 1927-1928 budget. 
The State granted a $3,070 increase, or less than 1 per cent of what 
he had requested. 6 

Morrison's experience in seeking a general increase in the Station's 
budget was not unlike that of Thatcher 's first year in office. As 
noted earlier, most of the budgetary gains achieved in the 1920s 
came from special grants made by the Legislature to meet the de- 
mands of special interest groups. 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1928, pp. 7-8. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1928, p. 8. 

3 Colman, G. E, 1963, History of the New York State College of Agriculture at 
Cornell University, p. 397. 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1929, p. 10. 

5 Laws of New York, 1920, Chapter 895. 

6 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1928, pp. 17-18. 

— 65— ~ 

Ulysses P. Hedrick. 

Ulysses P. Hedrick 

On October 1, 1928, Ulysses P. Hedrick became the 
Geneva Station's sixth Director. He was the first local 
staff member to serve in this capacity. Hedrick had 
joined the staff here in 1905 as Head of the Division of Horticul- 
ture, and from 1921 to 1928 he acquired the additional duties of 
the Vice-Directorship. He obviously was the best qualified 
Genevan to become Director. The Cornell Administration, how- 
ever, probably had some reservations about appointing him to 
this post because of his well-known belief that the Station's inter- 
ests would be better served by regaining its former independent 
status. However, initially anyway, all went well under Hedrick's 

P. J. Parrott, Head of the Division of Entomology since 1904, was 
appointed Vice Director effective January 1, 1929. He continued, 
however, to serve as Head of the Entomology Division and did 
not play an active role as Vice Director. 

In the Station's Annual Report for fiscal year 1928-1929, Hedrick 
leads off by announcing the discontinuance of the Divisions of 
Agronomy and of Poultry Husbandry. R. C. Collison and J. D. 
Harlan of Agronomy were transferred to the Division of Horti- 
culture. W. P. Wheeler, who had served 38 years in the Division 
of Poultry Husbandry, decided to retire. 1 Not content with these 
changes, Hedrick, in 1930, obtained the approval of the Board of 
Trustees of Cornell University to divide the Division of Horticul- 
ture into the Divisions of Pomology and Vegetable Crops. Rich- 
ard Wellington was then named Head of the Division of Pomol- 
ogy and Charles B. Say re became Head of the Division of Veg- 
etable Crops. 2 

Hedrick made further revisions of the Station Divisions late in 
his term as director. He noted that the term Botany was no 
longer an accurate designation for the research being conducted 


and the name was changed to Division of Plant Pathology in 
1936. At the same time, a new Division of Seed Investigations was 
established. Hedrick reported that, although the major part of the 
work of this new Division would be the testing of seeds, most im- 
portant investigations would be conducted on the fundamental 
factors covering the germination of seeds; improvement in seed 
testing techniques; the role of seeds as carriers of disease organ- 
isms; and other problems relating to flower, vegetable, lawn 
grasses, and farm crop seeds in general. Professor M. T. Munn, 
who had been the head of the Seed Testing Laboratory as a part of 
the old Division of Botany, was named head of the new division. 3 
With the foregoing changes, the Station's Divisions, in 1930, were: 
Bacteriology, Chemistry, Dairying, Entomology, Plant Pathology, 
Pomology, Seed Investigations, and Vegetable Crops. These 
changes were approved by the Board of Trustees of Cornell Uni- 
versity. Dean Ladd may not have been enthusiastic about the 
changes as described later. 

In 1928-1929, Hedrick asked each Division Head to compare their 
projects with those of their counterpart Departments in the Col- 
lege of Agriculture at Ithaca, to determine if any instances of du- 
plication existed. Hedrick said he was pleased to report that his 
staff leaders were unable to find any instances of unreasonable 
duplication. Then, in regard to reasonable and unreasonable du- 
plication, Hedrick rather defiantly said: "I say 'unreasonable/ be- 
cause, as you well know, with some projects a certain amount of 
duplication is essential and to be sought rather than thwarted." 4 

Under the heading, "Changes in Station Staff," Hedrick reported 
the staff members who retired, accepted positions elsewhere, 
were advanced in rank, or were new appointees. Those in the last 
category included J. G. Horsfall, (a plant pathologist) who be- 
came Research Associate in the Botany Division; Z. I. Kertesz, 
who was made an Assistant in Research in Chemistry; B. R. 
Nebel, who had been a post graduate student at the Station the 
previous year, became an Associate in Research, Horticulture; and 
G. E. R. Hervey, who was named an Associate in Research in En- 
tomology. Bernard Nebel, a fellow of the International Education 
Board working on chromosome studies in cultivated fruit variet- 
ies, had completed his work at the Station during the fall months 
of 1928. Director Hedrick stated: "Bernard R. Nebel, a graduate 
student of the University of Halle, Germany, who did notable 
work as a post-graduate student at this institution last year, be- 
comes Associate in Research (Horticulture), September 1, 1929." 5 
Thus, Director Hedrick can be credited with the recognition of the 
potential role of cytology and cytogenetics in the Station's plant 

— 67 — 

Illustration from Facts about the 
Geneva Station, 1882-1932 

showing the breadth of investiga- 
tions from milking procedures to 
detailed laboratory testing of milk 
quality and safety. 

breeding programs. Nebel was followed by Einset, Pratt, and oth- 
ers in cytological studies of fruit and vegetable crops as reported in 
Chapter XV. 

Hedrick then devoted nearly a page in the Annual Report to the re- 
tirement of Lucius L. Van Slyke, who had long been recognized as 
a leader in the field of Dairy Chemistry. He was well known to 
farmers of New York for his organization and supervision of the 
chemical inspection of commercial fertilizers and feeding stuff. 
Hedrick observed: "Perhaps it is not too much to say that, at a time 
when research in agriculture received scant support from the farm- 


ers of this State, Van Slyke's work in the inspection of fertilizers 
and feeding stuffs, better than any other effort of the Station, 
brought this institution to the notice of New York farmers and won 
their hearty support." 6 

But the event that gave Hedrick most satisfaction was the passage 
of a bill by the State Legislature, April 24, 1930, providing $285,000 
for the long-sought Horticultural Building. How was it possible for 
him to "sell" the Legislature and the governor on this action only a 
few months after he became Director, when his two predecessors, 
Thatcher and Morrison, were turned down annually for six years? 
It was probably because of his political connections, for he was an 
active Democrat and had some important political friends at Al- 
bany, including the Governor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 7 In sup- 
port of that latter claim is the fact that Roosevelt's daughter, Anna 
Eleanor Roosevelt, came to Geneva in 1930 and 1931, serving as an 
unpaid summer assistant in the Division of Pomology to learn 
about flowers and horticulture. Roosevelt came to the Station and 
was entertained at a reception in the Director's house. There was 
much preparation, including a ramp to the front door. s No doubt, 
Hedrick's connections served the Station well with regard to other 
appropriations and may well have led to some of his problems 
with Dean Ladd, which are described later. 

While Hedrick was confident the Legislature of 1929-1930 would 
provide funds for the construction of the horticultural building, he 
realized that even if this took place, the new building would still 
not be ready for occupancy until late 1931, or even early 1932. He 
decided, therefore, to start relieving the space needs of all Divi- 
sions other than Chemistry. All of the other Divisions were tightly 
quartered together in the Biological and Dairy Building (now 
Sturtevant Hall). The action he took was to move the Division of 
Entomology into the original Station building, later named Parrott 
Hall. After Jordan Hall was built in 1918, Parrott Hall was used as 
a residence for some of the staff. Eventually, it acquired the amus- 
ing and strictly in-house name of the "Pogey." The Entomology Di- 
vision moved into the "Pogey" early in 1930 and remained there 
until the "Department" moved into the newly completed Barton 
Laboratory in January 1969. 

In 1931, Hedrick justifiably announced with great satisfaction: "It 
is most gratifying to report that the new horticultural building 
which the Station has so long needed, provided by the Legisla- 
ture of 1930, is now nearly completed and will be ready for use in 
the autumn of 1931. The new building dominates all other struc- 
tures on the Station grounds in size, position, and architecture. It 


provides ample facilities for three divisions of the Station's orga- 
nization, viz., Pomolology, Botany, and Vegetable Crops. The pur- 
chase of equipment is now under way at a cost of $65,000. " In the 
same report, Hedrick announced that the Legislature of 1931 ap- 
propriated $80,000 for new greenhouses and plans were being 
made with the expectation that they would be completed before 
the winter of 1931. Because he was a writer and philosopher, it 
seems appropriate that Hedrick would add the following com- 
ment: "It is said that 'it is better to travel hopefully than it is to ar- 
rive,' but after traveling with more or less hope for 17 years, it is, 
all at the Station agree, a great source of satisfaction to 'arrive.'" 9 

Hedrick was very gratified with the new building, the green- 
houses, and the special appropriations, which every Legislature 
had made during the previous 10 years to do special work asked 
for by farmers. In 1931 there were 11 of these special funds: 

Long Island Vegetable Research Farm $11,300 

Hudson Valley Horticultural Investigations 15,250 

Problems of Production, Storage, and 
Distribution of Nursery Shrubs and Plants 13,450 

Insect Pests and Diseases Affecting 

Raspberry Plants 4,500 

Corn Borer Investigations 7,250 

Investigations of Moths and Insects 50,000 

Grape Work at Fredonia 2,750 

Utilization of Fruit and Vegetable By-products 10,000 

Seed Investigations 9,000 

Legume Inoculants 5,000 

Small Fruits in Western New York 5,000 

TOTAL $133,500 

He noted that the Director and the "men" 10 in the several Divi- 
sions were gladly undertaking the projects called for b)f the farm- 
ers, but he was concerned that during this period there had been 
few increases for general maintenance, salaries, and services of 
the Station. 11 

The next year, Hedrick reported: "That at the last budget hearing, 
the Director volunteered to have this amount cut to $100,000, pro- 
vided the money could be given in a lump sum so there might be 
greater fluidity in its use. The recommendation of the Director 


Hedrick Hall housed those work- 
ing on horticultural projects. 

was accepted by the Budget Committee of the Legislature. This 
means that there must be considerable give and take in the matter 
of money by the men using the funds — ." n The authors are not 
aware of any discontent among the staff but it seems likely that 
Hedrick must have taken his cut (or overhead as it is referred to 
today), from the lump sum for critical Station needs. This was a 
wise move. The likelihood of losing support funds hidden in the 
general budget was far less than for special items, which no 
longer had strong farmer support. Substantiation for this is the 
fact that the special funds total anticipated for 1932 had dropped 
$23,050 from the previous year. Hedrick was shrewd with dollars 
as will be noted later. 

It was also during the early years of his administration that Direc- 
tor Hedrick turned his attention to the landscaping of the Station 
grounds. Under his direction, numerous ornamental trees and 
shrubs were established. He also directed that chrysanthemums 
and other flowering plants should be maintained in the green- 
houses. The result was that many visitors came to see these as 
well as to visit experimental plots. Even though Hedrick received 
some criticism for using greenhouse space for non-research pur- 
poses, the overall effort was judged to be beneficial, and some of 
his landscaping is still in evidence and enjoyed in the 1990s. 

The year 1929 was a good one for the Geneva Station; 1930 and 
1931 proved to be even better. In 1929, however, the nation's 
economy reached a worrisome state. The first clear signal that all 


was not well occurred December 29, 1929, when securities sold 
on the New York Stock Exchange were subjected to precipitous 
losses in value. And from this point forward the economy went 
from bad to worse. In fact, the nation became involved in what 
became called "The Great Depression," which lasted about 10 
years. It affected all Americans adversely. Its effects ranged from 
one being unemployed (up to about 25 per cent of the popula- 
tion) to living on the same or a reduced income. There was a time 
lag of varying duration, however, before the Geneva Station and 
its employees experienced the full effects of the depression. Thus, 
as stated before, support funding increased steadily over the 
years 1929, 1930, and 1931. 

The Legislature of 1929 provided funds for two new entomologi- 
cal projects. Both involved introduced species. One of $13,000 
was for: "Investigations on Certain Moths and Insects." It was 
used, initially, for research on the oriental fruit moth, a pest, pri- 
marily, of peach. The other grant concerned the European corn 
borer. The State's Department of Agriculture and Markets started 
studies on this species in 1927. In 1929, however, the Legislature 
decided to transfer the operational funds for this project ($7,200) 
and the scientist involved (G. E. R. Hervey) to the Geneva Station. 

The Legislature of 1930 increased the "Moths and Insects" fund 
from $13,000 to $50,000. The additional $37,000 was for research 
on fruit pests in Eastern New York (the Hudson Valley and Lake 
Champ lain fruit districts). The pest receiving primary attention, 
initially, was the apple maggot. Worldwide, this species, in 1930, 
occurred only in our northeastern states and in the adjoining 
Provinces of Canada. Several apple growers here, for some years, 
had sold some of their fruit in European markets, especially in 
Great Britain. A chance existed that the apple maggot might be- 
come established in their orchards. Officials in Great Britain fi- 
nally recognized this possibility and served notice on our offi- 
cials, that unless means were found to supply apples free of liv- 
ing eggs and larvae of the apple maggot, their markets would be 
closed to our fruit. Additionally, other British officials became 
concerned about the occurrence of too much lead arsenate spray 
residues on our harvested fruit. So, an allowable tolerance was 
established. It was 0.01 of a grain of arsenic per pound of fruit. 
On June 1, 1930, the senior author was added to the staff and 
placed in charge of the research needed to solve the foregoing 

On March 1, 1932, the Station had been in existence for 50 years. 
Plans were developed in 1931 to give proper recognition of this 

^72 — 

important occasion. Unfortunately, the Legislature, because of the 
depression, disallowed a request for celebration funds. Disap- 
pointed, but not dissuaded, the Station adopted its own low-bud- 
get plan. A major part of it was to invite New York and National 
agricultural organizations to hold their 1932 meetings in Geneva. 
An attractive brochure, entitled Facts About the Geneva Station was 
issued for distribution at these meetings. 13 A total of eight State 
and four National organizations elected to come to Geneva. In re- 
porting on the outcome of the 50-year celebration, Hedrick wrote: 
"The plan worked admirably, and no doubt more people have 
been apprised of what the Station is and what it had done by 
this means than if there had been a formal celebration of the 
event." 14 

The Legislature of 1931 provided funds for the preparation of a 
History of Agriculture in the State of New York. This publication was 
to be prepared as part of the observance of the 100th anniversary 
of the New York Agricultural Society. It also was an important 
event in Hedrick's career for he was asked by the Society to write 
the history. This he did, and it appeared in print in 1933 . It con- 
sisted of a 462-page well-written and beautifully illustrated vol- 
ume. In its Preface he discusses the kind of a history he produced, 
as follows: 

"This is not a history of agriculture as an economic ac- 
tivity. The economist may close the hook at once. Nor is it 
a textbook. The student will find matter much better 
worth study in cyclopedias. Nor, again, is the book writ- 
ten for scientists. Truth is, the author has studiously 
avoided all the jargon of science. It is not a source-book of 
statistics; it is not a treatise of agricultural philosophy; it 
does not tell how to farm; nor draw lessons from how our 
ancestors farmed. 

The changing social scene in rural New York, people, 
not things, have lured the author. He has tried to give an 
account, in the first chapters at least, of communities of 
farmers shaping the destinies of their common life as they 
took possession of a new land. He has written of changes 
and movements which have multiplied the conveniences 
and pleasures of farm people. The table of contents shows 
chapters on farm organizations and their effect; trans- 
portation and communication; the printing press and the 
farmer; New York's share in the invention of farm ma- 
chinery; the introduction of foreign plants and the domes- 

/ .1 "■**" 

tication of native esculents; something about the deriva- 
tion of the State's livestock; advancement in agriculture 
and science. All has been written for the farmer's fireside, 
not the studg, classroom, or office. 

The historg begins with the earlg settlements and ends 
with the nineteenth centurg. The account has not been 
brought down to the present time for the twentieth cen- 
turg ushered in an almost new set of agricultural prob- 
lems — organization, cooperation, farm economics, rural 
sociologg, and industrialism. These new forces are mak- 
ing changes so profound and theg are so far from finished 
that a historg of them needs the perspective of time. 

This historg was written at the request, almost at the 
express command, of the State Agricultural Societg. " 

The fact that Hedrick could write a book of this length and schol- 
arship while carrying on his responsibilities as director of the Sta- 
tion is a remarkable tribute to his abilities and energy. In his pref- 
ace, he acknowledges help from two people in planning the book 
and gives special tribute to Station editor James D. Luckett "who 
has read the manuscript and proofs and helped in many ways in 
seeing the book through the press." 

Several years prior to assuming the directorship, Hedrick edited 
and published a 686-page volume Sturtevant's Notes on Edible 
Plants in 1919, State of New York, Department of Agriculture, 
Twenty-seventh Annual Report, Vol. 2, Part II. This was also a 
monumental task and gives further evidence of Director 
Hedrick's skills as a writer and editor. It also provides much his- 
torical information about the Station's first director, E. Lewis 
Sturtevant, M. A., M. D. Also of interest is that Hedrick was as- 
sisted in this effort by Joseph W. Wellington, younger brother of 
Richard Wellington. 16 Joseph Wellington was employed here for 
five of the seven years Richard was employed at Minnesota and 

Two former Directors died in 1931, another in 1933. The first of 
these was the Station's third Director, Whitman H. Jordan, who 
died May 3, 1931, at his retirement home in Orono, Maine, at age 
87. Lucius Van Slyke, who had served one year (1895) as acting 
Director, died in Geneva on September 30, 1931. He was 72. The 
Station's fourth Director, Roscoe W Thatcher, died December 6, 
1933, at Amherst, Massachusetts. He was only 61. 


Introducing Farm Research from 
Volume 1, No. 1. This periodical 
was published for 33 years, until 
1967 when it became a college- 
wide publication under a new 

saagszBsa gzsazsgzsaa "■)w-,aaaaaaj,aaaaaaa»aji 

Volume I. No. I. 

OCTOBER I, 1934. 

Geneva. N. Y. 

Introducing "Farm Research 7 

NOTHING gives 
the Station 
greater concern than 
getting results of 
work in the hands of 
farmers. We distrib- 
ute annually bulletins 
and circulars to the 
number of 50 or more; publish books 
from time to time : send out about 
300 news letters each year to news- 
papers ; radio talks about the work of 
the Station reach the ears of thou- 
sands; groups of farmers come to the 
Station almost weekly; exhibits are 
made at fairs and agricultural meet- 

ings; and thousands of letters are 
written during the course of the year 
to farmers who ask for advice. 
What more can we do? 

The happy thought has come to the 
Station Editor that a journal giving 
current results of research at the Sta- 
tion and timely agricultural informa- 
tion prepared by members of the 
Station staff would help to carry news 
from us to farmers. Here, then, is 
FARM RESEARCH, a quarterly for 
the present, a new medium to tell the 
farmers of the State what the Station 
is doing. 

— U. P. Hedrick, Director. 

On October 3, 1934, the first edition of Farm Research was issued. 
Planned to appear quarterly, its purpose was to provide ac- 
counts of research in progress. Brainchild of the Station's Editor, 
J. D. Luckett, it was published on schedule from 1934 to 1967. It 
was a very successful venture. 

The Station's financial situation was not wholly bleak over the 
latter half of the 1930s. Thus, in 1935, an appropriation of $3,500 
was provided for studies on the corn earworm and $5,000 for 
work on the problems of concern to the hop industry. Then, in 
1936, came a $10,000 appropriation for research on tree fruit dis- 
eases. In 1937, the State provided $6,000 for studies on maple 
syrup and other maple products. Over this same period, grants 
were received from industry, the U. S. Department of Agricul- 
ture, and other granting agencies. In 1936, industrial companies, 
for example, provided $7,495 to establish some graduate fellow- 
ships. While this foregoing financial assistance was helpful, the 
State-supported part of the budget remained at near the 1933- 
1934 level for the next six or seven years. 

From the foregoing report on the Station's financial situation, 
the reader might conclude its research output must have been 
reduced. Quite the contrary Viewed today, the advances made 
by the Station's staff over the depression years were most im- 
pressive. This claim is supported from the reports of accom- 

— 75- 

plishments given later in the division/ department chapters, XII 

In 1923, when the Station became a unit of the College of Agricul- 
ture, the College Administration acquired the problem of effect- 
ing a satisfactory division and coordination of the programs of its 
two Experiment Stations. As noted earlier, the first plan adopted 
was to place the management of the two Stations under one Di- 
rector. Thatcher and Morrison served in this capacity over the 
years 1923-1928. 17 As noted earlier, this plan was less than suc- 
cessful, largely because some of the College faculty ignored 
Thatcher's management efforts. In 1929, the college decided to 
provide a Director for each Station. 

What followed thereafter, under Hedrick at Geneva, as perceived 
by Dean Ladd, was reported by Colman as follows: "Since the 
resignation of Director Morrison, the inclination towards inde- 
pendence on the part of the Geneva Station had again become 
predominant. There was little that Dean Ladd could do to secure 
greater coordination. As Director, Hedrick noted in his last report 
to the President of the University in 1937, almost all of the in- 
creases in the Station's budget during his administration had 
come from special appropriations by the Legislature. Much to 
Ladd's dismay, these appropriations were written in a way which 
required their direct assignment to Geneva. Temporary fellow- 
ships and grants in aid from commercial companies and from the 
USDA for cooperative research projects were additional sources 
of support. Although the receipt of funds in these cases were 
based on Memoranda of Understanding which Ladd had to ap- 
prove, his approval was almost a formality; failure to do so 
would have affected the morale of the staff who had worked to 
secure agreements and would have prevented research of benefit 
to New York agriculture." 18 

However, the Cornell Administration doubtless was relieved 
when Hedrick retired. Hedrick's parting comment was, "On 
January 15, 1938, the present Director reaches the age at which 
Cornell University requires members of the staff to retire." 19 This 
inferred retirement was not his decision. 

The very considerable scientific and practical advances achieved 
in the divisions during Director Hedrick's administration are re- 
ported in the Division /Department chapters XII to XIX. We call 
attention here to Hedrick's promotion and encouragement of re- 
search in the field of food science with a quotation from his 1932 
Annual Report: 


"The workers at this Station have been doing some work 
with the by-products of the farm for several years past, but re- 
newed efforts are to be made for the utilization of fruit, veg- 
etable, and dairy by-products. In particular, research work is 
being undertaken, either in new or a continuation of old 
projects, in the making of ice cream, cheese and casein, 
sauerkraut, bottled cider, grape juice, pectin, jams, jellies, and 
preserves. One of the most interesting of the new projects is the 
quick freezing of fruits and vegetables, work which the Station 
is doing co-operatively with the Birdseye Laboratories of the 
General Foods Cooperation of Gloucester, Mass., who during 
the summer of 1931 kept three of their workers at the Station 
and during the present summer will have a larger force. From 
the Station's standpoint, the several projects have in view the de- 
termination of what varieties of fruits and vegetables are best 
suited for freezing; what the chemical and bacteriological 
changes are in the frozen product; and in general the adapt- 
ability of this process to keeping food. Much is expected of this 
work in the years to come. " 20 

Director Hedrick followed up on the above concepts in 1933 with 
specific action. Early in that summer, Hedrick and his son were 
driven by his chauffeur in a state car to Gloucester, MA, to visit 
with Clarence Birdseye and Donald Tressler. He stayed for two 
days to learn about frozen food and the frozen food industry. Ac- 
cording to Tressler, Hedrick was "very much enamored. He 
thought that it was wonderful." 21 Back at the Station, Hedrick 
called George Hucker to his office to discuss his ideas about estab- 
lishing a research program on food processing at Geneva. Hucker 
believed that this was the first administrative proposal for food sci- 
ence at the Station. 22 He was in error, however, because Director 
Thatcher had similar ideas for the Station. As noted in Chapter V, 
Thatcher's second proposal to the Board of Control in 1921 was to 
provide new methods for preserving fruits and vegetables and 
making foods and beverages from them. 23 Additionally he 
strengthened the dairy program by hiring Arthur Dahlberg in No- 
vember, 1921, to implement similar research on dairy products. 
Dahlberg and associates made several significant contributions to 
the pasteurization of milk and milk products and the production of 
no-free water cream cheese. The latter process was patented and 
resulted in more than doubling of cream cheese manufacture in 
New York State within three years. 24 Thus, it is evident that a vi- 
able and productive food science program was under way several 
years prior to the establishment of the Food Science and Technol- 
ogy Department in 1943. 


Director Hedrick brought further attention to his emphasis on 
food processing and preservation in the Station's research pro- 
gram in his last annual report in 1937. "While every effort has 
been made as in the past to help the farmers of the State produce 
crops, the work of the present Director in the nine years of his in- 
cumbency has been chiefly directed to converting farm products 
into foods. " 25 

Thus, the reader should not be left with the impression that Di- 
rector Hedrick's promotion of a food science program at Geneva 
had any significant negative impact on programs directed to 
helping farmers produce their crops. In fact, this was a very pro- 
ductive period in research accomplishments on fruit, vegetable 
and dairy production, as is recorded in the department chapters. 

Obviously, the nine years of Hedrick's administration were very 
productive. A major new building and greenhouses were erected, 
new programs were initiated, income increased in spite of the 
Great Depression, the staff increased in numbers, the grounds 
were much improved in appearance and, more importantly, good 
progress was made in several fields of endeavor. On the negative 
side, relations between Ithaca and Geneva deteriorated during 
this period, some administrative problems were not addressed, 
and the Station did not have the influence on the national scene 
that it had under some previous directors. How then, shall we 
judge Hedrick as an administrator. Shall we do as Ladd did in his 
congratulatory retirement letter to Hedrick, i.e., praise his writ- 
ings and politely ignore completely the subject of his administra- 
tion? We think not, it would be unfair to Hedrick. 

Hedrick's administration may be conveniently divided into the 
early and late years. His early years were extremely productive. 
He made several organizational changes in the Station divisions 
in recognition of the changing scientific developments and staff 
working relationships. He managed to obtain funding for the 
long sought horticultural building and the much needed new 
greenhouses. He used the then available funds for the unem- 
ployed to improve the appearance of the Station grounds. Fur- 
ther, the Station professional staff increased by 20 per cent during 
his administration. On the other hand, during the latter years of 
his administration, he became more and more involved with 
writing and editing books and suffered illnesses that reduced his 
effectiveness. He even considered early retirement at one time be- 
fore his health problems were identified and corrected. His lack 
of attention to some aspects of Station internal and external af- 
fairs led to some farmer discontent. This was expressed by Mr. 

-78 — - 

Skeffington, a highly respected farm reporter for the Rochester 
Democrat and Chronicle, in a letter addressed to Dean Ladd, No- 
vember 4, 1938. Writing about Hedrick, Skeffington made the fol- 
lowing statement: "There is considerable feeling among the more 
thoughtful growers that the station has gone through the severe 
handicap of having a sick man at its head for years. Farmers 
would fight to protect Hedrick from attack, but many of them re- 
alized the lack of leadership." 26 

There were also indications of discontent and morale problems at 
Geneva during the last few year's of Hedrick's directorship. 
Hedrick was recognized as a person who sought opportunities 
for self promotion. He consorted with the gentry of Geneva. He 
placed his name as the sole author on all the Fruit Books except 
the one written earlier by Beach. He did the same thing with the 
first monograph of the Vegetables of New York with recognition of 
the real authors only as "assistants." After complaints were made, 
he recognized the fact that most of the second vegetable mono- 
graph was written by others, but his name was listed in a manner 
that all citations would be for Hedrick alone. 27 The affected per- 
sons resented not being recognized for their contributions. In 
other ways, he failed to give praise or recognition to his col- 
leagues. 28 When Nelson Shaulis, a world renown expert on 
grapes, first came to Geneva as an assistant professor, he went to 
retired Hedrick's house to obtain a copy the Grapes of New York 
because Hedrick was the only one in Geneva with copies. Shaulis 
agreed to buy a copy for $4.00 and asked Hedrick to autograph 
the book. He did so and then told Shaulis: "That will be $4 for the 
book and $1 for the autograph." 29 

Problems of another nature existed in the Division of Horticul- 
ture. Richard Wellington, the head of the Division, was an excel- 
lent horticulturist and world recognized fruit breeder. However, 
he was a reserved person who did not seek or create much excite- 
ment among growers and the public. Also in the Division, was 
Harold Tukey who was leading the research effort on the then ex- 
citing new field of dwarfing clonal rootstocks. He was an extro- 
vert who captured the imagination of growers, the public and, to 
an extent, Cornell administrators. He chafed under Wellington's 
quiet administration and sought ways to create a greater role for 
himself. He finally attempted to create a new Division for 
Rootstocks. Hedrick apparently elected to ignore the problem. 
His successor, Director Parrott, also took no action to solve this 
problem. Finally Wellington went to and complained to Dean 
Ladd. The latter 's response was: "There are already too many di- 
visions at Geneva." 30 Tukey was offered positions at Illinois and 


Michigan in 1937 but elected to stay at Geneva. 31 These letters 
suggest that Ladd encouraged Tukey to remain in Geneva but 
made no promises for future advancement. Tukey's lengthy letter 
to Ladd giving his reasons for staying in Geneva suggest that he 
had aspirations for an administrative position. When Heinicke 
came to Geneva as Director, he made it clear to Tukey that he 
should work through and not around Wellington's office. 32 Also, 
the Station directorship was no longer an early option for Tukey. 
He resigned on September 15, 1945 to return to his alma mater, 
Michigan State, as head of the horticulture department. 

Regarding Director Hedrick's relations with Ithaca and Dean 
Ladd, there is no doubt that his priorities and loyalty resided in 
the Geneva Station. He had succeeded in getting funding for the 
new horticultural building, for which his two immediate prede- 
cessors had been unsuccessful. Further, some of the special ap- 
propriations for new projects originated by farmers and industry 
were directed to Geneva, often without the blessings of Dean 
Ladd. In 1937, the Dean accused Geneva (Hedrick) of playing 
politics: "Although you repeatedly assured me that you were not 
keen about it (melon breeding bill), and knew little of its origins, 
still it has for some time been apparent that someone at Geneva 
was pushing the bill but attempting to keep their activities from 
being known in this office. I do not yet know what has taken 
place but I am thoroughly disgusted with this sort of manipula- 
tion. Similar tactics were followed in the passage of the apple 
scab bill last year. The time has come to eliminate competition 
and to work energetically for coordination of program. I propose 
to do so. " 33 The day before Ladd wrote his letter, Hedrick wrote 
Ladd about a memorandum he had received regarding the 
Governor's action as follows: "As you will see in the memoran- 
dum I enclose, Governor Lehman vetoed the bill because, as he 
says 'after consultation with the College of Agriculture at Cornell 
University he had learned that money was available from other 
appropriations to carry on the research work proposed by this 
appropriation'. This, of course, is not the case. We are hard 
pressed for money, especially in the Division of Vegetable Crops. 
That, however, is not the worst of the matter. The statement to 
Governor Lehman that there was money available must lead him 
to feel that there are funds available here for any new research 
work, which is far from the case. Moreover, if the statement at- 
tributed to Cornell was made to the Governor, I feel that I should 
have been consulted about it." 34 On June 12, Hedrick responded 
to Ladd's June 10, 1937, letter about the melon bill stating that a 
man named McNeal had proposed the melon bill at the fall bud- 
get hearing in Albany last autumn when Provost Mann rather 


than Ladd had been present. He denied further interaction on the 
matter until after the bill had been passed by both houses and 
was asked by McNeal to write the Governor, telling how the 
money could be used to advantage. He then went on to reiterate 
his displeasure as follows: "However, it is not disappointment in 
the Governor's vetoing the bill that displeases me. It is, as I wrote 
you before, the fact that someone at Cornell told the Governor 
that there was money at the Station to carry on this work. This 
statement appeared in the Sunday papers of a week ago and 
gives a wrong impression." 3536 

It is interesting to note that the only mention of Hedrick's ten 
years as Director of the Station in his obituary in the Cornell Ne- 
crology of the Faculty 1951 is: "In 1921 he was named Vice Director 
of the Station and in 1928 Director. He served in that capacity un- 
til his retirement in 1938, when he took up residence in Geneva 
and devoted his time to writing." Following his retirement, the 
Board of Trustees of Cornell University authorized the naming of 
the horticultural building 37 "Hedrick Hall." He was a known 
member of the Station staff in the Geneva community and at 
Hobart and William Smith Colleges — if not the best known. He 
purchased a home in the prestigious section of South Main Street. 
Robert Doran, MD, was a neighbor and good friend of Hedrick 
and spoke very highly of the latter in his Oral History 38 Doran 
seemed to be little aware of most other Station staff and noted: 
"Most of them, I think, are in their own particular little world up 
there." Thus, while Hedrick was well known and liked on Main 
Street, he did little to bring the rest of the staff and their work to 
the attention of the local people. 

On the lighter side and to illustrate one of Hedrick's positive 
qualities is the delightful account by Hucker of how Hedrick 
turned what seemed to be an embarrassing situation into a posi- 
tive outcome. The then Secretary of Agriculture was scheduled to 
come to speak at one of the Dairy Days. Hucker was in charge of 
planning a dinner at the country club where the Secretary could 
speak and meet the Station staff. In the forenoon a phone call 
brought the news that the Secretary was unable to come. Hedrick, 
who at first instructed Hucker to cancel the dinner, a little later 
told Hucker that Liberty Hyde Bailey had agreed to come and to 
proceed with the dinner plans. Bailey and Hedrick were very 
good friends and liked to reminisce together. Bailey and Station 
staff were seated at two long tables with Bailey and Hedrick at 
one end. As they were completing dinner, Bailey pushed back his 
chair and began talking to Hedrick. Gradually all became quiet 
and listened. Hucker recalled the occasion as follows: "There was 

— 81 — 

no introduction, standing up nor subject. He was talking to 
Hedrick and indirectly to the Station staff. They discussed 
Cornell, earlier directors, Bailey's studies of palm trees, etc., etc. was one of the most delightful and charming evenings I ever 
spent. ... This was the type of thing which Hedrick enjoyed and 
this was the type of administration he brought to the Station." 39 

On balance, Hedrick must be judged as a very successful director 
who contributed very significantly to the physical facilities, orga- 
nizational structure, and scientific stature of the Station. It was 
well for the Station, however, that he reached retirement age 
when he did due to his health problems and diverted interests. 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1929, pp. 9-10. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1930, pp. 11-12. 

3 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1936, p.17. 
' NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1929, p. 10. 

5 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1929, p. 11 

6 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1929, pp. 14-15. 

7 Some of the credit, however, should be given to Directors Morrison and 
Thatcher who had laid the ground work and already had had the support of 
the legislature in previous years. 

fi Sperry Oral History p.47-48. 

9 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1931, pp. 14-15. 

10 The use of the word "men" to refer to Station and University professionals 
was common in verbal, printed documents, and correspondence in 
Hedrick's time. The fact that such use now appears strange and inappropri- 
ate indicates the progress women have made in the scientific and academic 
professions during the last few decades. Charlotte Pratt was the first woman 
employed as a professional at the Station and enjoyed a highly successful ca- 
reer working in the field of cytology. 

11 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1931, p. 15. 

12 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1932, p. 15. 

13 NYSAES Ann. Circ. 136, 34 pp., 8 plates, 1932. 

14 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1932, pp. 16-17. 
,s NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, p. 13. 

16 Hedrick acknowledged especially J. W. Wellington: "Who has had charge of 
standardizing botanical names, verifying references and preparing the bibli- 
ography." (Preface, p. vii) 

17 Colman, G. P. 1963, A History of the New York State College of Agriculture 
at Cornell University, pp. 382-3. 

18 Colman G. P. 1963, A History of the New York State College of Agriculture at 
Cornell University, pp. 446-447. 

'" NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, p. 12. 
20 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1932, pp. 15-16. 

Tressler, D. K., Oral History, 1964, p 12. 

Hucker G. J., Oral History, 1962, pp. 119-120. 

NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1922, pp. 12-13. 

Dahlberg, A. C, 1962, Oral History, pp. 14-15. NYSAES Tech. Bui. 180, 1931. 

NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, p. 14. 

Letter, Skeffington to Laird, Nov. 4, 1938. 

Sayre Oral History, 1962, p. 18. 

Wellington Oral History, 1962, pp 78-79. 

Personal communication, Shaulis-Glass, May 1994. 

Wellington Oral History, 1962, pp. 67-68. 

Letters, Ladd to Tukey 7/19/37 and Tukey to Ladd 7/16/37. 


Wellington Oral History, 1962, p. 67. 
Letter, Ladd to Hedrick, 6/10/37. 
Letter, Hedrick to Ladd, 6/9/37. 
Letter, Hedrick to Ladd, 6/12/37. 

Even though relations between Geneva and Ithaca had improved by the 
1950s, the Junior author (E. Glass) inadvertently stumbled into an awkward 
situation that he would have avoided had he known the background related 
here. During the mid 1950s, the redbanded leaf roller was causing heavy 
losses in apple orchards and no effective controls were available. I was re- 
sponsible for the research on this pest. A fruit grower asked me if there was 
anything I needed that would assist in finding a solution. I said I needed an- 
other technician to carry on laboratory research on a year around basis. It 
never crossed my mind that this conversation would be followed up for ac- 
tion. The next spring, however, a bill was introduced and passed by both 
houses providing funds for a technician for me. When Governor Rockefeller 
asked Dean Palm about the matter, he replied that he knew nothing about it 
and the bill was vetoed. The final result, however, was not all bad because 
the next year, by going through channels, funds were provided not only for 
my technician but also one for a colleague working on vegetable insect pests. 
Built during Hedrick's first year as Station Director. 
Doran, Oral History, 1963, pp. 3-7. 
Hucker Oral History, Vol. 1, 1962, pp. 122-3. 

— 83 — 


Percival J. Parrott 

Percival }. Parrott. 

PJ. Parrott was appointed the seventh director of the New 
York State Agricultural Experiment Station on January 
* 15, 1938 by Dean Ladd. Parrot had been Vice Director 
since 1929. The appointment was very well received by Station 
and Ithaca Staffs and by New York farmers. 

By 1938, the concept of the Geneva Director having responsibility 
for Ithaca agricultural research had long been discarded. In fact, 
Dean Ladd was considering ways and means of eliminating com- 
petition and duplication by making drastic administrative 
changes. In 1937, Ladd circulated a plan to develop: "A closer and 
better defined relationship between the two institutions.. .to insure 
the most efficient use of funds, the greatest possible coordination 
of effort and to prevent undesirable duplication or appearance of 
duplication." Ladd's plan called for a single head for each pair of 
corresponding departments: plant pathology, entomology, pomol- 
ogy, vegetable crops, dairy (Ithaca) and bacteriology (Geneva), ani- 
mal husbandry (Ithaca) and dairy(Geneva), and seed testing at 
Geneva would be joined with plant breeding at Ithaca. The depart- 
ment of chemistry at Geneva, having no counterpart at Ithaca, 
would remain unchanged. No mention was made about where the 
department head should be located. Under Ladd's proposal, "The 
dean is also Director of Experiment Stations. The local officer in 
charge at Geneva should be designated as Assistant Director of the 
Experiment Station." Further, "authority should be given for the 
transfer of men, equipment, supplies, units of work or funds from 
one institution to the other by the Dean with the approval of the 
President and the State College Council when it seems that the best 
interests of the state will be served by such a transfer." 

What response did Ladd receive from the persons to whom he cir- 
culated the proposal? The only direct evidence we have is found in 
Director of Resident Instruction Cornelius Betten's November 12, 
1937, letter to Ladd. 

— S4 — 

"Dear Dean Ladd: 

I return herewith your statement regarding our relations 
with the station at Geneva. I agree with what gou propose. 
In the long run the men and the services at the Geneva sta- 
tion must merge their interests into those of the Universitg. 
I do not believe that a real unification can be accomplished 
so long as there are ambitions to promote the Station as 
such. I do not know whether we can give these men satis- 
factions in their Universitg relations that will bring about 
this changed attitude. I do not know that we can take the 
steps gou propose all at once but I think it is the direction 
which we should head. 

Yours sincerely, 

Cornelius Betten 

Director of Resident Instruction" 

We can speculate that the mood in Ithaca favored the proposal but 
recognition of the problems and obstacles to implementation de- 
layed immediate action. The imposition of the proposal on Geneva 
would have been met with hostility and resentment (authors' as- 
sessment). Even though Ladd elected to proceed with the appoint- 
ment of Parrott to follow Hedrick, he did not give up the concept 
completely as shown in the next chapter. 

Ladd chose Parrott after much deliberation because he was keenly 
aware of the strained relations with Director Hedrick over funding 
and other matters and the need for closer relations between 
Geneva and Ithaca. He sought advice from the highly knowledge- 
able and respected Mr. Skeffington, farm reporter for the Rochester 
Democrat and Chronicle, on what the reaction would be to a Parrott 
appointment. "...Confidentially I think now that I shall recom- 
mend that Parrott be made Director following Hedrick's retirement 
in January. Do you think that this would be well received by the 
fruit growers in western New York? Parrott will have only a few 
years to serve and after his term of service, I should be anxious to 
secure a relatively young man who might reasonably be expected 
to serve twenty years or more years..." 1 Also, Ladd was searching 
for someone who would work collaboratively with Cornell admin- 
istration and faculty. Parrott fulfilled these requirements and was 
only four years from retirement. 

Professor Parrott was born in England and came with his family to 
the United States as a small child. The family settled in rural Kan- 
sas where he experienced the pioneer conditions of the time and 
place. These were the source of many lively anecdotes which he 

— 85 — 

used in later life. The junior author recalls clearly the impromptu 
remarks that Parrott gave at the New York State Horticultural So- 
ciety annual meeting in 1949. He compared the rudimentary den- 
tal equipment and techniques he was exposed to as a child with 
those of 1949. He likened that comparison to the new spectacu- 
larly effective insecticides and fungicides available in the late 
1940s to the primitive materials available to him in 1900 when he 
first came to the Experiment Station. In spite of having been re- 
tired for seven years, the growers gave him an extraordinarily 
warm reception. 2 Parrott attended the University of Kansas, re- 
ceiving the A. B. degree in 1897 and the A. M. degree in 1898. 
Kansas State College of Agriculture conferred upon him the hon- 
orary degree of Doctor of Science in 1943. 2 

Parrott was very effective in finding practical solutions to a num- 
ber of difficult insect pest problems. He also built a very strong 
Division of Entomology (later termed Department) at Geneva. 
He was recognized nationally and internationally. The U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture made him a special agent for an assign- 
ment to travel the entire length of Africa to investigate the poten- 
tial for introducing new pests into the United States. He was 
called upon as a consultant by the Department at the time of the 
threatened invasion of the Florida Citrus industry by the 
dreaded Mediterranean fruit fly in 1929 and 1930. He served 
many years on the executive committee of the Division of Biol- 
ogy and Agriculture of the National Research Council. He was 
elected president of the American Association of Economic Ento- 
mologists. He was a member of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the Entomological Soci- 
ety of America. Parrott was one of the most outstanding eco- 
nomic entomologists in the world when he assumed the director- 
ship of the Station. 

Professor Parrott had a pleasing personality. By his sense of hu- 
mor, witticisms, and fairness, he was a pacifier among co-workers 
and at farmer meetings. Dean Ladd correctly judged Parrott to be 
the best choice for Hedrick's successor. Ladd, however, also real- 
ized Parrott's potential limitations as an administrator and rec- 
ommended that Hedrick give Parrott more administrative re- 
sponsibilities to prepare him for the assignment. "As a matter of 
fact, although Parrott has been Vice-director in name, he really 
doesn't know much about the administrative work of the Station. 
Unless we give him an opportunity to break in soon, he will not 
be in condition to take over the responsibilities next January if it 
is finally decided to ask him to do so." 3 Hedrick seldom if ever 
consulted with Parrott on administrative matters. 

-86 — 

Director Parrott appears to have been relaxed regarding many of 
the financial aspects of Station activities. As late as 1948 when 
Glass came to the Station, many recalled Parrott's familiar re- 
sponse to requests for funds or equipment, "See Bowen." Mr. 
Bowen was the financial clerk in the Director's office at that time. 
In 1962, Miss Jesse Sperry who was hired by Director Jordan in 
1914 as his administrative secretary and had worked for Jordan, 
Thatcher, Morrison, Hedrick, Parrott, and later for Heinicke, said 
that, "(Parrott) was very gracious and kind to everybody. He liked 
everybody, and he wanted everybody to like him." She recalled 
that Parrott left many duties to her, including the drafting of bud- 
gets and pay raises. Parrott only gave advice and final approval. 4 

Parrott's basic nature as a pacifier made it difficult for him to make 
certain administrative decisions. He delayed the appointment of 
his successor as head of the Entomology Division for seven 
months trying to decide between two strong internal candidates: 
long-term friend and respected entomologist (Hugh Glasgow) and 
a younger colleague (Paul Chapman) with an outstanding research 
record and forward looking approach to the future of the depart- 
ment. He finally chose Glasgow, who served until his death in 
1948. 5 In retrospect, Parrott made the right decision. Glasgow was 
an able manager of department affairs during the difficult final de- 
pression and World War II years, and Chapman was given the time 
to pursue the outstanding research on horticultural spray oils that 
he and his colleagues in Chemistry initiated in 1939. 

During the Parrott years, there was considerable tension in the Po- 
mology Division between Wellington and Tukey As noted earlier, 
the latter was very outgoing, aggressive, and ambitious. 
Wellington by contrast was mild mannered, conservative but tena- 
cious, and well respected. Tukey attempted to establish a separate 
division for his nursery rootstock program, which at that time was 
receiving much attention from nurseries and growers. Wellington, 
while mild mannered, did not approve the concept and took steps 
to prevent the new division. As noted in Chapter VII, neither 
Hedrick nor Parrott took a stand in the matter and permitted 
Tukey to bypass Wellington. To prevent a new nursery division, 
Wellington went directly to Dean Ladd for help. Ladd's response 
was that there were already too many divisions at Geneva and did 
not need another. Still Parrott did not prevent Tukey from bypass- 
ing Wellington in other matters and left it up to his successor to 
correct the problem. 6 

Unlike Hedrick, who started out with a whirlwind of administra- 
tive directives and decisions, Parrott was concerned with the larger 

-87 — 

Experiment Station Staff, 1938. 

problems associated with relations with farmers, Cornell Adminis- 
trators, Albany, and adjustments to the changing demands and 
limitations of the early World War II years. It was not possible to 
build new buildings or make major alterations; however, he did 
manage to obtain a $4,500 appropriation in 1939 for the much 
needed reconditioning and improvement of the Station's electrical 
facilities. In the new spirit of cooperation between Ithaca and 
Geneva, H. E. Weatherlow, Superintendent of the Department of 
Grounds and Buildings, Cornell University, planned and super- 
vised the new installation. 7 

Also, unlike Hedrick, Parrott obviously had a good working rela- 
tionship with Dean Ladd. They worked closely in efforts to obtain 
funding for research on biological control of the oriental fruit moth 
and the Japanese beetle and support to diversify the fruit industry 
in the Hudson Valley and add funding for the Valley Laboratory. 
This involved letters back and forth regarding strategies for obtain- 
ing funds from Albany. Parrott wrote lengthy letters briefing Ladd 
on his perception of the feelings and wishes of the farmers and the 
public in both the Valley and Western New York. 8 Parrott's ap- 
proach to new funding for special needs appears to have been ef- 
fective. New appropriations were made as follows: 1940 — Grape 
berry moth control — $2,500, 9 1942 — European corn borer and corn 
earworm — $5,000, oriental fruit moth and fruit diversification — 
$10,000, and new uses for milk and dairy products — $5,000. 10 
These arrived with the blessings and support of the Dean's office. 

In spite of these special appropriations, there were cuts in State ap- 
propriations, which impacted Station operations and personnel. 

88 — - 

Every effort was made to maintain professional staff, but finally in 
1940 it was necessary to reduce staff by not filling vacancies or 
eliminating positions. One of the latter was an associate in research 
(Pomology), held by Olav Einset since 1923." He was on leave in 
his home country, Norway, at the time and was notified by letter 
that his position had been eliminated and that he should not re- 
turn. This action raised some ethical questions, but no action was 
taken. Had the Station been more closely integrated with Cornell 
at that time, there would have been greater concern regarding the 
rights of a member of the professional staff. 12 The following year, it 
became necessary to shut down the greenhouses from November 1 
to March 1 in order to avoid a deficit. This action resulted in the 
loss of one year in plant breeding activities and limited the work of 
the Vegetable Crops Division. 13 

It was during Parrott's administration that the Geneva staff was 
given professorial titles. We have not been able to determine who 
first initiated the action, but we assume that there was favorable 
sentiment in Geneva. In a letter to Parrott, Dean Ladd asked 
Parrott what he would think of giving Geneva staff with Chiefs in 
Research and Associates in Research the titles of Professor and 
Assistant Professor respectively. The Station did not have the in- 
termediate equivalent title of Associate Professor and Ladd sug- 
gested that it could be established. 14 Ladd must have explored the 
sentiment of the Ithaca staff prior to this letter because Director 
Guterman discussed the matter and how it could be accom- 
plished in a letter to Ladd. 15 Ladd received approval from the 
President's office on January 2, 1941 to implement the change and 
Ladd notified Parrott of the decision on February 8, 1941. The 
change took effect on July 1, 1941. The use of the Associate Pro- 
fessor title was authorized, but recipients would have to attain it 
by promotion from Assistant Professor or Associate in Research 
ranks. This was a positive step in the effort to coordinate and 
amalgamate the Geneva and Ithaca staffs. 

Reflecting on the above arrangement some 40 years later, it is sur- 
prising that there was no recorded dissatisfaction among the 
more senior Associates in Research holding Ph.D. degrees plus 
five or more years of productive research for not being classified 
as Associate Professors. D. M. Daniel's refusal to return to 
Geneva after World War II as Assistant Professor is the only 
known record of such dissatisfaction. 16 We can speculate that Di- 
rector Hedrick would have objected strenuously to the arrange- 
ment if he had been director at that time. Daniel had all the quali- 
fications for the promotion with his outstanding research on the 
oriental fruit moth control with parasites. 

World War II started on September 1, 1939, with Germany's inva- 
sion of Poland. It seems unlikely that Cornell administrators and 
Station personnel could have known or suspected the impact 
this war would soon have on the Station shortly after Parrott's 
appointment. The senior staff members, with the exception of 
Daniel, were not called into military service. Daniel was called 
up for active duty on December 6, 1940. l7 While his tour of duty 
was to have been for one year, the United States became in- 
volved in the War and Daniel remained in service for the War's 
duration. Daniel came to Geneva in 1925 with a BS in agriculture 
from Clemson, earned his Ph.D. in entomology in 1933 from 
Cornell, and was an Associate in Research in 1940. While at 
Geneva, he developed a highly organized and successful biologi- 
cal control program using a parasite (Macrocentrus ancylivorus) to 
control the oriental fruit moth, a major pest of peach introduced 
to Western New York in the 1920s. At that time, there was no 
other effective control method. More details on his work are in 
the Entomology Department, Chapter XII. His military record 
was brilliant. In addition, 16 non-professional members of the 
Station staff were in the armed services in 1942. 18 

The War created a demand for increased food production to 
feed the armed forces and civilians of the United States and its 
Allies. It also called for new processing, packaging, and storage 
methods to make food available to military personnel in the 
field. There was pressure on Station staff to extend the latest 
technologies for increased production to the farmers and proces- 
sors. The Entomology Division issued a new bulletin bearing 
the title, Current Contribution on Insect Control (Bui. 698) in De- 
cember 1941. A second issue (Bui. 703) was distributed in Janu- 
ary 1943. The series was designed to achieve several purposes: 
to provide New York farmers and professional workers with a 
report of the more pertinent new findings of the year, to provide 
prompt dissemination of information (a time lag of seven to 17 
months from manuscript submission to appearance in print was 
normal for professional journals), and to serve as an outlet for 
useful findings not extensive enough to qualify for publication 
through normal channels. Current Contributions were well re- 
ceived by its intended customers, but the College Administra- 
tion became concerned that similar publications would arise in 
many other departments at Geneva and Ithaca creating an im- 
possible publication crunch. Further Current Contributions were 

Research efforts in other protection and production divisions 
were modified to obtain needed information for immediate use 


for increased production while continuing long-term research on 
basic scientific investigations. The Divisions of Bacteriology, 
Chemistry, and Dairying emphasized the solutions to the prob- 
lems of preserving, processing, and packaging foods needed for 
the War effort. 

The Geneva Station had an exceptionally talented, forward 
thinking, and widely recognized staff during the late 1930s to 
early 1950s period. Among these were: Drs. Breed, Conn, Hucker 
and Peterson in Bacteriology; Tressler and Kertesz in Chemistry; 
Parrott and Chapman in Entomology; Horsfall and McNew in 
Plant Pathology; Hedrick and Wellington in Horticulture; 
Dahlberg in Dairying; and Munn in Seed Investigations. Infor- 
mation on the contributions of these scientists and others are 
found in the departmental chapters XII to XIX. We mention here 
a few who left the Station during this period. 

Among those who left was J. G. Horsfall, who was conducting 
pioneering work with organic fungicides prior to his departure 
to the Connecticut Station. There, he continued his research, 
which was the basis for his election to the National Academy of 
Science. He later was appointed director of the Connecticut Sta- 
tion. His successor, George McNew, was very productive before 
leaving to eventually became director of the Boyce Thompson In- 
stitute. The leadership by D. K. Tressler with cooperation from G. 
J. Hucker and C. S. Pederson and cooperation with food scien- 
tists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other 
universities founded the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in 
the early 1940s. An early planning meeting was held at the 
Geneva Station on August 5, 1938. IFT developed into the princi- 
pal food science organization in the United States with a 1990 
membership in excess of 20,000. 

In Bacteriology, R. S. Breed was world famous for his contribu- 
tions and leadership in the preparation of the Bergey's Manuals. 
H. J. Conn was the national leader in developing and testing bio- 
logical stains during and between World Wars I and II. As men- 
tioned earlier, Parrott was one of the foremost economic ento- 
mologists of his time and had assembled a very capable staff. M. 
T. Munn became a national and international figure in seed tech- 
nology. R. Wellington was one of the foremost fruit breeders of 
his time. H. B. Tukey was a leader in the development and use of 
vegetatively propagated rootstocks. And, in Dairying, A. C. 
Dahlberg, was an outstanding scientist in dairy chemistry. Most 
of the other members of the staff were also productive, even if 
not as well known at that time. 

— 91-— 

Four years is too short a time to provide a well rounded assess- 
ment of Parrott's time as Director. However, the nature of the 
times with the uneasy relations of the Station with the Cornell 
Administration, the continuing financial constraints of the Great 
Depression, and the problems and challenges of the beginning of 
World War II were a critical test of his abilities as Director. 

Parrott articulated the role of the Station in the introductory sec- 
tion of the 61st Annual Report of the Station about the adaptation 
of research to agricultural trends over its first 60 years. 19 After 
covering the earlier years, he turned to the war needs as follows: 
"Such considerations have never been more cogent than just now. 
In view of national war needs and the desirability of some 
thought on problems of post-war settlement, as a part of the war 
program, much attention has been given by the staff to the role 
that the Station should play in this emergency in the light of its 
dual responsibilities — contributions to the national effort and 
maintenance of the work normally requested by farmers. The list 
of research projects has been carefully studied from the stand- 
point of the kind and extent of the most useful service that could 
be rendered. Also, a balanced program providing for the national 
demands and the preservation of essential research and correla- 
tive activities sought by the agriculture of the State was formu- 
lated." 20 Parrott also made another revealing statement of his 
view of the Station's role and its impact, "These examples (adap- 
tation of research to agricultural trends) of changing emphasis 
suggest two thoughts — first, the Station should be concerned 
with the times in which it lives; and second, that what it does to- 
day marks the future." 21 

Another insight to Parrott's basic philosophy regarding the Sta- 
tion follows: "A distinguishing characteristic of present work of 
the Experiment Station is its emphasis on the necessity of precise 
knowledge of the principles relating to farm practices, which 
knowledge in turn should serve as the foundation for a sound 
and profitable agriculture. More than any other thing, research 
extends the horizon of economic insight and imparts a forward 
thrust. This is recognized by rural folk educated in agricultural 
science for which reason research is a major feature of the pro- 
gram of this institution." 22 Thus, Parrott continued to articulate 
the basic philosophy first stated by Sturtevant 60 years earlier 
that the Station has a mandate to conduct both basic and applied 
research, and the latter must rest on the foundation of the former. 

Parrott's lifetime record of interest and collaboration with farmers 
and agricultural interests continued into his administrative years. 

-92 — 

The Director's Residence was built 
in 1902. It housed Directors 
Jordan through Barton and later 
housed the Integrated Pest Man- 
agement (IPM) program. 

He noted that each year, it had been customary for a few State ag- 
ricultural organizations and farmers groups to meet at the Station 
for the purpose of observing experimental activities or for confer- 
ences on matters of interest to the organizations. Parrott observed 
in the 60th Annual Report that there was an unusually large 
number of such meetings in 1940. In addition to the usual small 
groups, summer meetings of the following were held at Geneva: 
New York State Horticultural Society, New York State Jersey 
Breeders Association, State Vegetable Growers Society, State Can- 
ners Association, New York Fruit Testing Cooperative Associa- 
tion, Inc., New York State Seed Testing Association, and horticul- 
turists from the northeastern states engaged in rootstock investi- 
gations. Additionally, two committees representing respectively 
the State's fruit and vegetable interests came to review the re- 
search programs in these two fields. Parrott included the follow- 
ing comment about these activities: "It may be accounted a hope- 
ful sign that there are so many who find so much satisfaction in 
securing new knowledge first hand. More significant, perhaps, in 
view of the revelation of intellectual appreciation and dominating 
motives, are the efforts of the joint committees, which show that 
research has become an important interest to farmers. Their con- 
cern is not simply one of securing the latest information and ad- 
vice, but also embraces independent action by organized farmer 
groups to review critically the research programs and facilities to 
secure effective prosecution of the work." 23 

Parrott was effective in obtaining some additional funding and, 
unlike Hedrick, did it in collaboration with Dean Ladd. A total of 
$8,900 was appropriated for special repairs and modernization of 

— 93~~ 

facilities and $30,000 for new research. As with many of such spe- 
cial research appropriations, these were continued and eventually 
became part of the Station budget. These gains were made in 
spite of shrinking budgets due to the depression. 

No account of Parrott would be complete without relating the 
hunting expedition he had with Hedrick. Parrott had borrowed 
Mrs. Parrott's new car for the venture. On the way home, a shot 
gun accidentally fired and made a round hole though the center 
of the roof. They took the car to a garage and had a dome light in- 
stalled in the hole. When Mrs. Parrott returned home a few days 
later, Parrott showed her the new dome light. She was quite 
pleased and did not learn until sometime later the true reason for 
the light. This incident speaks well for the resourcefulness and di- 
plomacy of directors. 24 

When the junior author came to Geneva in 1948, housing was 
scarce and he decided to have a new home framed in by a con- 
tractor and he would finish it himself. Local banks were reluctant 
to loan the needed funds. Parrott's son, John, was in the insur- 
ance business and said he knew someone who would make the 
loan. All arrangements and payments were made through a local 
bank. When Glass went to the bank to sign the papers, he passed 
the loaner, P. J. Parrott, coming out of the bank after signing the 
papers. He just nodded and said a polite hello. There was never 
any mention of the loan by Parrott or Glass during subsequent 
meetings on social occasions. He was a caring person and did 
things in a quiet dignified manner. 

Parrott's major contribution to the welfare and future of the Sta- 
tion is thought to be the quiet effective manner in which he 
brought the Station and Cornell closer together, not by edict but 
by example. He set the stage for his successor even though he did 
not prepare the staff for the shock of A. J. Heinicke's administra- 
tive style. Perhaps long-term administrative secretary, Jesse 
Sperry, may have summed up P. J. Parrott's administration best 
when she said: "People did mostly as they pleased. We were not 
supervised very strongly at that time. We could do or not do but I 
think we got along all right. Sometimes I think we get along just 
as well with easy people as with Drivers." 25 



1 Letter, Ladd to Skeffington, 6/9/37. 

2 For many years, Parrott had held unscheduled and informal discussions 
with growers at Horticultural Society meetings, which were very popular 
and well attended. 

3 Necrology of the Faculty, Cornell University, 1953-1954, pp. 4-5. 

4 Sperry Oral History, 1962, p. 55. 

5 Chapman Oral History, 1965, pp. 29-31 . 

6 Wellington Oral History, 1962, pp. 67-68. 

7 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1941, p. 10. 

s Ladd to Parrott 10/17/40, Parrot to Ladd 10/29/40 and 12/27/40. 

9 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1940, p. 8. 

10 NYSAES Arm. Rpt. 1942, p. 13. 

11 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1939, p. 11. 

12 Chapman Oral History, 1964, pp. 147-8,155. 

13 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1940, p. 7. 

14 Letter, Ladd to Parrott, 7/9/40. 

15 Letter, Guterman to Ladd, 5/17/40. 

16 Chapman Oral History, 1964, pp. 55-56. 

17 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1941, p. 11. 

NYSAES Ann. Rpt 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt 

1942, pp. 15-16. 
1942, p. 9. 
1942, pp. 9-10. 
1942, p. 9. 

1940, p. 7. 

1941, p. 9. 

Hucker Oral Histoty, Vol. 1, pp. 95-96. 
Sperry Oral History, 1962, pp. 56-57. 

- — 95 — 

Arthur J. Heinicke 

Arthur J. Heinicke. 

On September 1, 1942, Arthur J. Heinicke became the 
eighth Director of the New York Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station. He was the first Station director ap- 
pointed from the Cornell University faculty at Ithaca. Like his 
two immediate predecessors, he was well known and respected 
by New York fruit growers and had their support and confidence. 

Heinicke's account of his youth and early professional career 
gives insight to his administration of the Station. 1 He was 
brought up in the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, where German 
was frequently spoken and was the language of the church he 
and his family attended. He spent most of his summer school va- 
cations on farms near the city. He was proud that he was able to 
handle a team of horses and plow a straight furrow at an early 
age. During his last summer in high school, he worked for a 
small meat packing company in St. Louis owned by an elderly 
man who was looking for a young person to take over the busi- 
ness. Among other duties, Heinicke was given the task of collect- 
ing, sorting, and providing the bookkeeper with the delivery 
slips for the day. In spite of advice from the meat packer that he 
should stay and take over the business, he decided to enroll at the 
University of Missouri in the College of Agriculture in the fall of 

Heinicke had saved money from his summer employments and 
from producing and selling eggs during the school terms but it 
was necessary for him to work during his undergraduate years. 
He worked for his veterinarian professor, he milked cows, and fi- 
nally he worked in Professor William Chandler's laboratory 
where studies on freezing injuries to plant tissues were being 
conducted. After Chandler left in 1913 to accept a professorship 
in the Pomology Department at Cornell, Heinicke conducted ex- 
periments to determine the freezing points of "many" crops. 
Heinicke's background in German was put to use when he 
agreed to translate an early genetics text by a German scientist in 


return for a modest stipend and credit for a three hour genetics 
course. He received the BSA in June 1913 (three years) and the 
MS in the spring of 1914. These accomplishments are early evi- 
dence of his characteristic single-minded determination and con- 
centration he displayed as director to complete immediate tasks 
and reach his objectives. Even as a student, he avoided distract- 
ing activities. 

Heinicke followed Chandler to Cornell University in the spring 
of 1914 as an instructor in the Department of Pomology and reg- 
istered in the graduate school with a major in pomology and mi- 
nors in botany and physical chemistry. He received his Ph.D. in 
1916, the first doctoral degree granted in Pomology at Cornell 
University. Chandler had been brought to Cornell to develop a 
strong research program with emphasis on basic studies relating 
to fruit production. Heinicke thrived in this environment and, in 
1920, was appointed head of the department when Chandler left. 
Heinicke established a reputation as an excellent teacher and as 
an effective researcher and administrator. He was well respected 
by fruit growers. A number of these were former students. 

It is not surprising that Cornell administrators turned to Heinicke 
to be director of the Station in 1942 upon Professor Parrott's re- 
tirement. After the rather difficult experience with Director 
Hedrick, who resented and resisted Cornell University's control 
and supervision, followed by Director Parrott's cooperative but 
relaxed administration, Dean Ladd of the College of Agriculture 
sought a strong administrator with credentials in horticultural re- 
search and one who would be acceptable to New York farmers 
and processors. Heinicke was an obvious choice. In fact, he was 
being considered in 1938 as a prime candidate to succeed Parrott 
whenever the latter might decide to retire, or at the latest in 1942 
upon mandatory retirement. 2 

It is surprising, however, that no one at Geneva, except Parrott, 
appears to have been consulted regarding Heinicke's appoint- 
ment. Dean Ladd brought Heinicke to Geneva and introduced 
him to the then Department Heads assembled at Jordan Hall with 
the perfunctory statement, "Here is your new Director." 3 The de- 
partment heads and other staff felt that they had no voice in the 
selection of the new director. This was hardly a very helpful be- 
ginning for Heinicke who was facing several very sensitive and 
challenging situations. 

There is little recorded information as to how the Station Staff re- 
acted to Heinicke's appointment. He was not well known to most 


of the staff except those in pomology. 4 Professor Wellington re- 
spected Heinicke for his research and teaching. 5 Professors 
Chapman and Hamilton knew Heinicke from contacts at fruit 
grower meetings where he was a colleague with whom they car- 
ried on vigorous but reasonable discussions on scientific problems. 
They considered "that this was a fine choice." 6 There was, how- 
ever, a conviction, or at least a strong suspicion, that Heinicke's ap- 
pointment confirmed the perceived hostile attitude of Ithaca to- 
ward Geneva. Whatever favorable acceptance Heinicke's appoint- 
ment had with the staff was tempered after his arrival because of 
the way in which he questioned everything that was being done at 
the Station. 

Miss Jessie Sperry's oral account of her early experiences with 
Heinicke is quite revealing. Miss Sperry was a strong minded per- 
son who started work at the Station under Director Jordan and had 
considerable authority and control under Directors Hedrick and 
Parrott. When asked if Heinicke was a fighter, she replied as fol- 
lows: "Yes. It is queer how anyone's ideas and opinions of people 
change. A few of the men in pomology had known him in Ithaca, 
but he was a stranger to most of us. I don't know as he had been to 
our Station more than once or twice. Nothing, absolutely nothing, 
we did was right. We didn't do anything right — our forms were 
not right — nothing was right in the whole business. He was the 
most difficult person to get along with. I was next door to him all 
the time and was right in all of it. I took quite a beating at that 
time. I made up my mind that was my job. He was doing his job 
and I was doing my job. There was no use fighting all the time. Af- 
ter a while I think he gave in and I gave in and we got along beau- 
tifully ever since. I liked him very much and I thought a lot of him. 
I could look back and see where he had really done things. He 
tried to do things and he insisted on doing it no matter what effect 
it had on other people. He didn't care about that. If he said do it, 
we did it. I guess he had the right idea." 7 

Jessie Sperry's successor, Lucile Holtby also found Heinicke to be 
an effective and agreeable supervisor and became a strong cham- 
pion of Heinicke. 8 The abrupt change from the courteous and def- 
erential Parrott administration to Heinicke's style was not easy to 
accept by a number of the professional and non-professional staff 
as we shall see later. 

The negative feeling toward Heinicke's appointment was further 
exacerbated when he assumed headship of the Pomology Division, 
thus demoting Wellington to Associate Head. He also continued as 
head of the Ithaca Department of Pomology. It was not generally 


Whatever favorable 
Heinicke's appointment 
had with the staff was 
tempered after his arrival 
because of the way in 
which he questioned ev- 
erything that was being 
done at the Station. 

known or understood that Heinicke was directed by Cornell ad- 
ministration to take over these duties in order to improve integra- 
tion without duplication of the efforts of the two pomology 
units. 9 We have been unable to find information concerning what 
Heinicke thought about the triple responsibility. It was not char- 
acteristic of him to seriously question the decisions of his superi- 
ors. He further aggravated Geneva Department heads by telling 
them that a headship was only a part-time job because he man- 
aged two departments as well as being Director of the Station. 

The transfer of the dairying program to Ithaca and combining the 
administration of the two pomology departments raised further 
concerns that Cornell would eventually transfer all Station func- 
tions to Ithaca. This concern was especially prevalent in the Veg- 
etable Crops and Pomology Departments. 10 Barton believed that 
the lack of extension at Geneva exacerbated the situation because 
Ithaca extension frequently failed to recognize Geneva research 
results in their publications. Later, as Director, Barton sought to 
develop an extension presence on campus as we shall see in the 
next chapter. 

Director Heinicke rarely, if ever, praised Station staff. It was the 
general impression at the Station that he had a very poor regard 
for the Geneva staff and its research effort. It would come as a 
surprise when word would come from Ithaca, Albany, or farmers 
of praises and favorable comments he had made about Station 
contributions. Needless to say, this approach did not improve 
morale at Geneva. Toward the end of his administration, how- 
ever, most of the staff began to realize that much of his approach 
was his way of managing. In this regard, it is interesting to note 
that the persons who worked most closely with the director 
(Jessie Sperry, Lucile Holtby, James Luckett) were the ones who 
spoke most highly about him and his administration. 

Upon his arrival in Geneva, Director Heinicke immediately be- 
came embroiled with the Geneva Community and the Geneva 
Chamber of Commerce relative to their concerns about moving 
Dairying and Dahlberg to Ithaca. When news of the transfer came 
to the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, its members became very 
concerned that this was the first move towards the elimination of 
the Station in Geneva. Heinicke described the subsequent events 
as "The first crisis (and the only one I recall) that the new admin- 
istration of the Station had to deal with ..."" His account of a 
meeting in his office with the head of the Chamber of Commerce 
and Dean Ladd is quoted here for the insight it provides to his 
approach to people and problems. "Soon after I became director, 

— 99- 

the head of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, who was a promi- 
nent insurance man, met with Dean Ladd in my office at the Sta- 
tion, and tried to intimidate him. But Ladd remained calm, and as 
much as told the Chamber of Commerce president to mind his 
own business. Somehow or other, I was asked how I felt about the 
matter. I had had little experience dealing with local politicians 
and indicated that I had the impression that the station was under 
the administrative authority of Cornell and not of the local Cham- 
ber of Commerce, and that I was working under the direction of 
the dean of the College who I felt knew considerably more about 
the best interests of the station than did the local business repre- 
sentative. On this note the conference ended and, as previously 
mentioned, the matter was taken up with President Day and 
Trustee Babcock. After this initial contact we had no further indica- 
tion that the Chamber of Commerce would try to influence the 
work of the Station. The individual members, including the presi- 
dent of the Chamber of Commerce became and remained good 
friends of the Director throughout his administration." 12 He was 
blunt, almost to the point of being rude, in following the official 
Cornell policy with zeal. More details on the move of dairying to 
Ithaca are discussed later in this chapter. 

As was customary in the Geneva Rotary Club, Heinicke, as direc- 
tor, was elected an honorary member, and attended as his schedule 
permitted. The Heinickes attended church in Geneva but retained 
their membership in their Ithaca church. Unlike Parrott, he was not 
active in civic affairs. 

On one of Heinicke's visits to the Station in 1942, he took a taxi 
from the railway station and asked the driver to take him to the 
Station. The driver replied, "You mean the Naval Training Sta- 
tion?" When told he wanted to go to Jordan Hall, the driver said: 
"Oh, you mean the 'State Farm.'" Heinicke learned that many visi- 
tors had similar experiences and made efforts to change the image 
from a "farm" to a "research" institution. The "state farm" phrase 
gradually faded and was used only in jest by a few residents by 
the end of Heinicke's administration. 

During the early and mid years of the Heinicke administration, 
relatively little or no attention was directed toward public rela- 
tions. The usual contacts with farmers and the scientific organiza- 
tions were maintained, but it was not until the 75th anniversary of 
the founding of the Station and the groundbreaking ceremonies for 
the new food science building that he encouraged and sponsored 
significant public relations activities. The New York State Horticul- 
tural Society and the New York State Vegetable Growers joined 


Governor Harriman's successful 
ground breaking for the new Food 
Research Laboratory in 1957. 

forces in holding their annual summer meetings at the Station in 
August 1957, with Governor Averell Harriman and Dean William 
Myers present as principal speakers. Other groups that met at the 
Station were the Council of Rural Women, the New York Regional 
Men's Garden Clubs of America, the Empire State Gladiolus Soci- 
ety, the New York State Association of Fertilizer and Feed Inspec- 
tors, the Western New York Section of the Institute of Food Tech- 
nologists, the Western New York Section of the Society of Ameri- 
can Bacteriologists, and the Cornell Chapter of Sigma Xi. 

On October 4, 1957, a symposium was held in connection with the 
groundbreaking ceremony for the new Food Research Laboratory. 
Outstanding scientists in research fields related to the work of the 
Station discussed the topic "The Role of Agriculture in Future Soci- 
ety" The Honorable Averell Harriman, Governor of New York, ad- 
dressed the symposium group and successfully participated in the 
groundbreaking ceremonies (as noted elsewhere in this chapter). 
The symposium papers were published as Station Bulletin No. 780. 

The Station staff also was host to several events arranged for resi- 
dents of Geneva and nearby areas. There were tours for organiza- 
tions with special interests and exhibits for high school students. It 
was estimated that over 5,000 people visited the Station during the 
anniversary year. In addition, many others learned of the Station 
and its work through the cooperation of radio, newspapers, and 
other publications. 

Unlike the files of communication between Director Hedrick and 
Dean Ladd containing evidence of conflicts and very blunt accu- 

— 101 — 

sations, there was no suggestion of any disagreements between 
Heinicke and Dean Myers or other Cornell administrators during 
his 17 years as director of the Station. Heinicke had much respect 
for his superiors, perhaps even awe. Hucker described an inci- 
dent illustrating this trait. Heinicke was scheduled to be in the car 
that was to greet Governor Averell Harriman at the airport at 
Sampson and take him to the Station. A half hour before the car 
was to leave, Heinicke called Hucker and asked him to substitute 
for him. When Hucker got in the car with Treasurer Arthur 
Peterson and Provost Sanford Atwood, he remarked, "I don't 
know what I am doing here." Provost Atwood answered, "Art 
(Heinicke) panicked." Most of the Geneva staff had no opportu- 
nity to see this trait in his personality. 13 

The matter of the possible role of Geneva staff in extension activi- 
ties came up several times during the Heinicke years. Up to that 
time, Station workers had been unofficially conducting extension 
each year by participating in grower meetings and occasional 
farm visits. In each of the 18 annual Station reports made during 
Heinicke's administration, these activities were acknowledged by 
a reference such as that in the 75th report: "As in past years the 
staff of the Station participated to a considerable extent in the ex- 
tension and teaching program of the College of Agriculture." 
There was some agitation to officially recognize this activity, but 
Heinicke was opposed to it and Ithaca was happy to receive 
"free" help. It was in the vegetable area that problems arose when 
Geneva Staff found that Ithaca extension staff was not recogniz- 
ing and following the Geneva findings in their recommenda- 
tions. 14 

As indicated earlier, Heinicke was highly respected by New York 
fruit growers, and this had been a factor in Dean Ladd's decision 
to appoint him director in 1942. In fact, a number of growers had 
been his students at Cornell University. There is no indication 
that he lost any of this respect or support during his administra- 
tion. His manner with growers at meetings and on the farms was 
direct without the challenging and irritating approach he habitu- 
ally used for Station staff. 

Professionally, Heinicke was a highly respected horticulturist as 
indicated by the fact that he was in demand for speaking engage- 
ments in his field of expertise, not only in New York State, but 
also out of state, including California. According to editor 
Luckett, he wrote his own speeches. 15 He was also well regarded 
by his fellow directors in other states and was active in the four 
annual Northeastern directors meetings. At the time of his retire- 


Central Heating Plant, under 
construction in 1952. 

merit, he was responsible for three regional committees. He took 
his committee responsibilities seriously and played a strong role 
in the germplasm program. By clever maneuvering, he was able 
to bring the Northeast Regional Germplasm Center to Geneva 
along with the funds to support it. 16 

Heinicke's administrative style has been noted in Jessie Sperry's 
oral history. Unlike Parrott, Heinicke was quite ready to make 
quick decisions without visible concerns for the consequences to 
individuals, whether they were secretaries, laborers, professors, 
or department heads. He did this in terms of research policies, fi- 
nances, or other matters. His approach was to challenge a person 

— 103 — 

on almost any subject whether it was a matter of why certain re- 
search procedures were being used or even whether a tire needed 
to be replaced. He treated professors as if they might be his stu- 
dents. Apparently he was tough on his graduate students. A 
commonly related story was about one of his former students 
who joined the Marine Corps. When asked about boot camp, he 
responded that it was easy compared to being Heinicke's gradu- 
ate student. His approach led to some very strong arguments and 
words. It never seemed to bother Heinicke, and he appeared to 
respect people who would stand up to him with sound argu- 
ments. If he ever had grudges resulting from such verbal battles, 
he never displayed them. 

On the other hand, the faculty resented being treated like stu- 
dents. A well told incident illustrates the situation. Soon after 
coming to Geneva, he assembled the pomology staff in a peach 
orchard to give them a demonstration on how to prune a peach 
tree. Many on the staff had had as much or more experience than 
Heinicke. At the end of the demonstration, Associate in Research 
George Oberle walked over to the pruned tree, kicked it, breaking 
it, and stated: "Heinicke, in Geneva we do not prune dead 
trees." 17 According to Professor Wellington: "He (Oberly) 
couldn't take all of Heinicke's suggestions." Oberly resigned in 
1948 to accept a position at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. 
Wellington states that Heinicke predicted that Oberly would not 
last long in his new position. He made the same prediction for 
Chief in Research, Reginal C. Collison and Associate in Research, 
Thais A. Merrill when they resigned. All three did well in their 
new positions. 18 Professor Harold B. Tukey, who had done out- 
standing research and promotion on apple rootstocks and was 
considered by a number of people as a top candidate to succeed 
Parrott, left in 1944 to become head of the large Horticultural De- 
partment at Michigan State University. Tukey later established a 
food research unit in his Michigan department. 19 

The exodus of staff was not confined to the Division of Pomology. 
George L. McNew, Division of Plant Pathology, an outstanding 
researcher and administrator, resigned in 1944 because he could 
not tolerate the way Heinicke interacted with his staff. McNew 
became manager for research and development for U. S Rubber 
Company, then chairman of the Department of Plant Pathology at 
Iowa Sate University, and lastly, Managing Director and Distin- 
guished Scientist, Boyce Thompson Institute 1949 to 1974. 
Tressler also resigned in part because of Heinicke's appointment 
and administrative style. 20 Another outstanding member of the 
Staff, James G. Horsfall, resigned in 1939 for a position at the 

104 — 

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. He later became Di- 
rector, 1948 to 1971. He was elected to the National Academy of 
Sciences and received many national and international awards. 
Tressler surmises that Horsfall left because he felt that his 
progress at the Station was limited due to the Ithaca-Geneva 
problems. 21 Heinicke stated that Tressler was very disappointed 
not to be chosen director and resigned shortly after Heinicke was 
appointed to the position. 22 

When World War II ended, Lieutenant Colonel Darrill Daniel ex- 
pected to be reinstated on the staff at Geneva. As noted else- 
where, he had had a brilliant military career, was much deco- 
rated, and had been recognized twice on the front pages of the 
New York Times. In spite of Daniel's excellent work in biological 
control, Director Heinicke made it clear to him that he would be 
reinstated as an Assistant Professor and that his military record 
had not added to his ability to do entomological research. Daniel 
was an Associate in Research when he was called for military ser- 
vice which, by the end of the War, had been rated the equivalent 
of Associate Professor with tenure. Daniel resented this negative 
approach and decided not to return. 23 

The mid- and senior- staff members in the other divisions were 
not directly involved in World War II, so there was less direct im- 
pact on them. All divisions and administration had problems 
maintaining junior staff and particularly non-professional per- 
sonnel. As indicated earlier, however, the Station managed to 
cope with the special needs and still maintain most of its long- 
range basic research. 

Heinicke's relations with the non-professional staff were some- 
times equally turbulent as with the professional staff. At that time 
there were two persons in the carpenter shop who had learned 
their trade in Europe, were very skilled, and proud of their abili- 
ties and work. They were Robert Larsen and William Petersen. 
They resented being told how to do their work, especially when 
Heinicke was in error, as when he directed that a new greenhouse 
being constructed by Station personnel would not need a founda- 
tion below frost line. The writers recall the next spring seeing the 
laborers digging the trench for the foundation under the green- 
house because of broken glass caused by frost heaving. 

During Heinicke's administration, there was considerable labor 
unrest throughout the country, and it had spread to the Station. 
Hucker, in his oral history, 24 relates a most interesting episode 
that is informative about Heinicke's relations with non-profes- 

— 105 — 

sionals and with Cornell administrators. Arthur Peterson, then 
treasurer of the College of Agriculture who wielded considerable 
influence at the College, called Hucker on the phone inviting him 
to dinner at the Lafayette Inn in Geneva and admonished him to 
say nothing about it to anyone. Hucker did learn that James D. 
Luckett had also been invited with the same secrecy request. 
When they met at the Inn they found that P. J. Chapman had also 
been invited. Just prior to this time, a labor leader had come to 
the Station and tried to organize the non-professional staff into a 
labor union. He had bitterly attacked Heinicke in an open meet- 
ing. There was a general anti-union feeling at the Station, but 
there was also a good deal of unrest among the non-profession- 

Peterson explained that he wanted to talk to the three, who repre- 
sented 100 years service at the Station, about problems and con- 
cerns of the staff, but that he did not want or intend to hurt any- 
one. He also related that he had recently had a call from Larsen 
submitting his resignation, and that he immediately came to 
Geneva after calling Heinicke. The problem was that Heinicke 
had mandated that the carpenters construct some bins in a man- 
ner they judged to be wrong. Heinicke told them that he was di- 
rector and they had to do it his way. Larsen then said, "O.K. You 
build it," and walked off the job. Peterson spent the rest of the 
day straightening out the situation. He explained to Hucker, 
Chapman, and Luckett that he wanted to talk about this and 
other concerns at the Station. Among the topics discussed were: 
recognition for long years of service, voting privileges for the pro- 
fessional staff, daily courier service between Geneva and Ithaca, 
and a telephone tie line. (All of these were put in place in later 
years.) Hucker recalled that Peterson made a statement to the ef- 
fect that the staff should realize that Heinicke means well and is 
trying to do his job and this is his operational style. At the end of 
the meeting, Peterson asked again that nothing should be said to 
anybody about their meeting. About three months later, Heinicke 
asked Hucker if he had had dinner with Mr. Peterson at the 
Lafayette Inn. He said he had but would not tell who else was 
there. 25 

It is not clear what impact the Peterson meeting had on subse- 
quent events. All four of the above mentioned suggestions for im- 
proved relations between Geneva and Ithaca have subsequently 
been put in place in later years. No doubt the three Geneva staff 
members were made aware of the concern at Ithaca for the wel- 
fare of the Station. All three were strong supporters of the Cornell 
connection. The episode also seems to have impressed Peterson. 

— 106- 

Interior of the heating plant. 

The junior author distinctly recalls Peterson's opening remark at 
Heinicke's retirement dinner: "Heinicke is recognized for running 
a tight ship," which brought a quick chuckle from the audience. 

These accounts illustrate Heinicke's hands-on-style of manage- 
ment. A long list of examples are available but only a couple will 
suffice. It was not unusual to see a professor crossing the street 
with a used tire to get the Director's approval for a new tire from 
the locked new tire room in Jordan Hall. And, it was customary 
to see the Director leaving Jordan Hall during mid-morning on 
his way to check on activities around the Station grounds. On 
these excursions, he would confront professors or laborers and 
ask what they were doing and why. Most often he had specific 
suggestions for changes. Some feared these interviews; others 
were unruffled and almost insolent. It appeared to have made no 
difference to Heinicke. Such excursions kept him abreast of Sta- 
tion activities. 

How was the Director able to carry on all the many duties of the 
Director regarding relations with Cornell, Albany, be active in re- 
gional director committee meetings, head Pomology Depart- 
ments at Geneva and Ithaca, perform his regular duties as Direc- 
tor, and still have time for his hands-on activities? And, he did all 
this without the help of an assistant or associate director! Donald 
W. Barton, his immediate successor, has suggested that 
Heinicke's absolute control over all these operations enabled him 
to make decisions quickly and without consulting others. For ex- 
ample, he controlled all expenditures. Every requisition passed 
over his desk and required his signature. Monies were allocated 


to departments but could not be spent without his approval. 
Even so, he was a man with an unusual ability to handle much 
detail quickly and efficiently 

Regardless of his administrative style with employees, the Station 
continued to move forward. Director Parrott's last Station re- 
port 26 dated June 30, 1942, begins with a comment that the char- 
acter of the subjects discussed in these reports have changed over 
the years. The research and reports have dealt with agricultural 
matters of interest at the time. Thus, the overall research program 
of the Station has responded to the agricultural needs as these 
have changed over the past 60 years. The report continued with 
the statement: "Such considerations have never been more cogent 
than just now." Several Staff members were in military service or 
away on part-time assignments for the state or federal govern- 
ments. Support staff members were also in the military and oth- 
ers were being lured away to higher paying jobs for construction 
of the nearby Seneca Ordinance Depot in 1941 and the huge 
Sampson Naval Training Station in 1942. Replacements were not 
readily available. At the same time the Station was under pres- 
sure by the great demand for assistance in finding ways to pro- 
duce and preserve more food for the armed forces. 

Director Heinicke was compelled to give immediate high prior- 
ity to obligations of the Station to focus on the War related prob- 
lems. In fact, the first section of his first report dealt with this 
subject. The following quotation is of considerable interest as an 
expression of Heinicke's response to these challenges and his 
emphasis on basic research. "I am glad to record that even tho 
the staff has concentrated its research on immediate pressing 
problems concerned with the war effort, it has nevertheless 
found it possible to give some attention to the long-term projects 
of basic importance." 27 Thus, both Parrott and Heinicke recog- 
nized the need for immediate answers to food related problems 
caused by the war effort but encouraged continuation of long- 
term basic studies. 

Early, mention was made of the move of the program in dairy re- 
search at Geneva to Ithaca. (A more detailed accounting of that 
historic event follows.) At a budget hearing in Albany in the fall 
of 1942, Dean Ladd and President Day informed the Board of Re- 
gents that the matter of duplication in dairy research had been 
carefully considered and that the program in this area at Geneva 
would soon be moved to Ithaca. Further, it was the intention of 
the Trustees to strengthen horticultural and food processing re- 
search at Geneva. As noted previously. Heinicke's first crisis as 

— 108— 

director was the controversy with Geneva citizens over the trans- 
fer of the dairy program from Geneva to Ithaca. 

The Geneva Chamber of Commerce also continued to be con- 
cerned that the transfer of the dairy program was the beginning 
of a trend to reduce or eliminate the Station. They retained Mr. 
Lapham, a retired judge of the New York State Supreme Court 
who lived in Geneva to plead their case before Chairman of the 
Cornell Board of Trustees, Howard E. Babcock, President Day, 
Dean Ladd, Director Heinicke, and several guests. Babcock and 
Day informed the group of the necessity for moving the dairy 
program to Ithaca in order to provide for the strengthening of 
horticultural and food processing research. During the meeting 
Babcock called Governor Dewey on the telephone, explained the 
nature of local concern, and received a promise of a $25,000 token 
appropriation to get the food processing program under way at 
Geneva. Apparently, the local Geneva citizens were convinced 
that a strong Station program would be continued. 28 

However, when the printed budget was received from Albany in 
February 1943, the promised $25,000 was not included. After 
waiting a week and still no word from Ithaca, Heinicke called 
Dean Ladd about the omission. Ladd called Babcock who in turn 
called Governor Dewey at his home on a Sunday morning to re- 
mind him of the oversight. Later, a member of the Governor's 
staff visited the Station with instructions to persuade Heinicke to 
get along with the amount in the Governor's budget, "...but after 
going over our situation, he confessed that he felt we were 'pik- 
ers' for asking for such a small increase to get the food processing 
work under way." The $25,000 was provided in the supplemental 
budget, and Ladd and Babcock were greatly relieved that their 
promise to the Chamber of Commerce was kept." 29 

There also were concerns among Station staff about the long-term 
consequences of moving dairying to Ithaca. President Day met 
with members of the Geneva Staff on June 9, 1943, and assured 
them that even though the Dairy program would be eliminated, 
the chemistry and bacteriology research pertaining to the produc- 
tion and preservation of horticultural crops would be strength- 
ened in the new Food Science and Technology Department and 
other departments. 

The records dealing with the Dahlberg's transfer to Ithaca are no- 
table for their contradictions and involved Dean Ladd as well as 
Director Heinicke. In Ladd's letter to Dahlberg informing him of 
the transfer, he wrote: "I had hoped to talk with you before you left 


for Central America but some way or other missed out on this." 
Then in the next paragraph he wrote: " In accordance with our 
many previous discussions 30 and the formal request that was 
made in both budgets last fall, your position has been transferred 
from the Geneva budget to the Ithaca budget and established at 
the annual rate of $5,600. This becomes effective on April 1943. 1 
hope that you can make the transfer of your family and your work 
to Ithaca without undue inconvenience or hardship." 31 Dahlberg 
describes a completely opposite perspective. 32 He stated that in 
1923 when Thatcher was Director, there was a rumor that the dairy 
program might be moved to Ithaca. Dahlberg was so opposed to 
the move that he sought a position with the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture and had made a temporary commitment. When he ap- 
proached Thatcher, the latter talked to Dean Mann who made a 
promise that no shift would be made in the dairy work unless it 
had been discussed with Dahlberg personally and that the rumors 
had no foundation. In the fall of 1942, Ladd had called Dahlberg 
asking if he would be interested in a six-month study of the dairy 
industries of Central American Countries sponsored by the U.S. 
Department of State. Ladd told him about the advantages to 
Cornell and to his professional career and urged him to accept, 
which he did. He applied for a sabbatical but was turned down by 
Director Heinicke because he lacked a few months of the required 
time for a sabbatical leave. 33 He had to take leave without pay. 

Dahlberg received Ladd's letter advising him of the decision to 
transfer him to Ithaca when he was in Panama City preparing a re- 
port with his colleague, Hodgson. The decision caught him by sur- 
prise and he was temporarily in a state of shock. In Dahlberg's 
words: "A messenger came to the door with a special delivery let- 
ter for me. I opened the letter and scarcely finished the letter when 
Hodgson spoke up and said in effect 'What's the matter, Art? Are 
you sick? What happened?' I never said a word but passed the let- 
ter over to him. ... This letter written by Dean Ladd about the 
middle of 1943 advised me that as of the first of the month I had 
been transferred to the staff in Ithaca. This was the first notice that 
I had received and the first information of any kind that had come 
to my attention that the dairy work at Geneva was to be moved to 
Ithaca ." 34 After his return, Ladd made an appointment with 
Dahlberg to outline plans for him in his new role at Ithaca. Unfor- 
tunately, according to Dahlberg, Ladd died suddenly before the 
meeting could be held, and he never learned what Ladd was going 
to propose, nor did he learn anything from Ladd's successor. 
Dahlberg apparently was politically astute enough to accept the 
transfer gracefully in writing, 35 but he obviously continued to be 
unhappy with the impact on him and his program as late as 1962. 36 


Heinicke had the full support of Dean Ladd and President Day 
for the task of transferring the dairy program to Ithaca. The easi- 
est part of the operation was with the dairy herd. The Ithaca 
Dairy staff decided not to bring the Geneva animals to Ithaca be- 
cause some were infected with mastitis. The herd was sold to the 
highest bidder. 37 All the Geneva staff involved in the dairy pro- 
gram, except Dahlberg, remained in Geneva. They continued 
some of their research on dairy products but eventually con- 
verted to non-dairy problems in the emerging food science pro- 
gram at Geneva. Some had years of research in the dairy program 
and were not pleased with the change. 

In spite of the apprehensions of local Geneva residents, it appears 
that Cornell never seriously considered closing the Station. No 
doubt the strong support of New York's agricultural organiza- 
tions and farmers, plus Geneva's keen interest in keeping the Sta- 
tion intact may have deterred any incipient moves in this direc- 
tion. The strong support from Geneva encouraged the vigorous 
support by the Cornell Administration for developing a strong 
food science program for fruits and vegetables. It was considered 
a trade-off for the loss of the dairy program. 38 It also no doubt en- 
couraged the policy of discouraging Ithaca staff from developing 
overlapping research activities in fruit and vegetable processing 
and preservation at Ithaca. 

George Hucker 39 believed the first administrative discussion and 
tentative action in promoting food science research at the Station 
was by Director Hedrick in 1933. He had met Clarence Birdseye 
and heard about frozen fish and knew about Tressler's work in 
Birdeye's laboratory in Gloucester, MA. Hedrick called Hucker to 
his office and proposed that the Station should perform research 
in food processing. Certainly, Hedrick followed up on this con- 
cept by bringing Tressler to the Station in 1933 as head of the 
Chemistry Division. 

Apparently Hucker was unaware that Director Thatcher included 
in his 1921 long-range strategic plan for the Station to provide im- 
proved methods for producing and distributing milk, and better 
methods for manufacturing butter cheese and other dairy prod- 
ucts as well as preserving and making food and beverages from 
horticultural crops. He hired a former student, Dahlberg, in 1921, 
to lead research in the newly established Dairying Division. 40 

Twenty-three years later, in the spring of 1945, President Day 
called a meeting of key Station professors of Bacteriology and 
Chemistry at Martha Van Rensselaer Hall in Ithaca to discuss the 


problem of combining the departments of Dairy-Bacteriology 
and Chemistry into a new department. Also present were Dean 
Myers and Director Heinicke. After listening to the discussion 
for an hour or so, President Day summed up what had been 
said and proposed that the new department be named Food Sci- 
ence and Technology. The name was judged appropriate by all 
present. 41 The new department was officially approved by the 
Cornell Board of directors on August 1, 1945. This action was, in 
reality, a recognition and organization of the strong food science 
research program that had developed gradually over the past 45 
years in the divisions of chemistry, bacteriology, and dairying, 
often in collaboration with the other divisions. 

By 1945, Tressler, head of Chemistry, had resigned and Breed, 
long-time head of Bacteriology was soon to retire in 1947. Elmer 
H. Stotz was hired as head of the Chemistry Division and be- 
came head of the new Division of Food Science and Technology 
in 1945. According to Willard B. Robinson and Mary Mann 
Moyer, hiring Stoltz was a typical arbitrary decision by 
Heinicke, ignoring the fact that Stotz was a chemist trained in 
human physiology with little knowledge and interest in plants 
and the food science field. 42 He was, however, considered a 
good administrator and made some good decisions prior to 
moving to the University of Rochester Medical School as head 
of the Department of Physiology in 1947. 

David B. Hand was appointed Professor of Biochemistry and 
head of the Division of Food Science and Technology June 15, 
1947. Hand, a Cornell trained physical chemist, had been a 
member of the Ithaca faculty in the Division of Nutrition from 
1936 to 1942. Prior to coming to Geneva, he had served from 
1942 to 1947 as technical director for Sheffield Farms Inc., a large 
New York dairy company. The planning and construction of a 
new food processing building will be discussed in the next sec- 

Very little physical and program development took place during 
World War II, but soon afterward the State asked for proposals 
for new buildings. This was the beginning of 40 years of physi- 
cal and personnel expansion at the Station. 

When Heinicke came to Geneva as director, each building had 
its own coal-fired furnace. Not only was it an inefficient and 
time-consuming operation for the Station employees, it also cre- 
ated some very uncomfortable times for the staff. The junior au- 
thor remembers distinctly coming to work at 8 A.M. on cold 


winter Monday mornings when the temperature in his office in 
the back wing of Parrott Hall was in the high 40s or low 50s. By 
4 P.M., when the custodian would bank the furnace for the 
night, the thermometer might have reached the low 60s and 
then start to plummet again. A more critical problem was to 
maintain desired greenhouse temperatures. Thus, a modern cen- 
tral heating system was badly needed. It is interesting to note 
that Director Thatcher included such an item in his 1922 master 
plan for the Station for the interest of both efficiency and 
economy. 43 

Prior to Heinicke's appointment as director, Governor Dewey 
had requested all State agencies to submit plans for post war 
building projects. The Geneva requests had been submitted in 
August 1942 and had been approved by the Cornell University 
trustees. A new centralized heating system was to be the first 
project. u An appropriation of $430,000 was included in the 
1945-1946 budget for this new facility. By then, the plans for the 
heating plant and the proposed food science and technology fa- 
cility were nearly completed. Also, an architect had been as- 
signed by the State Planning Commission to develop plans for a 
new entomology and plant pathology building. However, it was 
not until 1948 that bids for the heating plant were received. Con- 
struction began in April 1950. Another $350,000 was appropri- 
ated in 1951 for heating tunnels and connections to the Station 

While excavating for the heating tunnels, there was a serious 
problem of water seepage and a special drainage system had to 
be installed. Later it was discovered that a pond on a farm about 
two miles northwest of the Station, which had been the source 
of the water supply for the original farm buildings, was no 
longer holding water and was the source of the problem. The 
supply lines had been cut by the excavation for the tunnels. 45 

The heating plant project was complete and in operation on Oc- 
tober 1, 1952, servicing the greenhouses and all buildings except 
Chemistry and Entomology (Parrott Hall). The latter structures 
were scheduled for demolition. 46 Demolition of Parrott Hall was 
postponed because of the long delayed construction of the Food 
Science and the Entomology /Plant Pathology buildings. An un- 
derground insulated steam line was connected to the Parrott 
Hall heating systems when it became clear that the new Food 
Science laboratory would be delayed several years. A problem 
developed because the steam radiators had air escape valves. A 
certain amount of steam escaped into the offices and laborato- 

113 — 

ries. At that time an anti-rust chemical, which was added to the 
steam, caused headaches for several members of the Entomology 
staff. Director Heinicke ignored all complaints. The problem was 
solved by drilling a hole through the window casing in the nearest 
window and connecting a rubber hose to the steam valve and run- 
ning it to the outside through the hole. Soon, there were plumes of 
steam issuing from several window casings and the headaches 

Another problem developed with the new heating systems when 
neighborhood residents complained about the soot issuing from 
the smoke stack, especially on wash days. This problem was 
solved later by changing from coal to gas in I960. 47 

The planning for a new food processing facility was under way 
prior to Director Heinicke's arrival in Geneva in 1942. Tressler and 
Hucker had taken the leadership in drafting plans. When 
Heinicke reviewed the plans with them, they were surprised to 
learn that he was concerned with every minute detail and chal- 
lenged them frequently on the sizes and locations of laboratories 
and offices. 48 However, he was diligent in ensuring its final 

From the foregoing accounts of all the food science research and 
related activities that had been going on at Geneva since the early 
1900s and the promises made by Cornell administrators, plus the 
post World War II building program originating in Albany, there 
was every expectation that the new facility would develop 
smoothly. Heinicke reported in 1945 that plans for the food sci- 
ence and technology laboratory with a pilot plant attached were 
well under way and that an architect had been assigned by the 
State Post War Planning Commission to develop plans for the new 
entomology /plant pathology building. 49 The next year it was re- 
ported that the detailed plans were practically completed, and 
$877,100 for the building and $23,000 for equipment funds had 
been appropriated from the Postwar Fund. 50 The same amounts 
were reappropriated the next year in 1947. It was not until 1949 
that Heinicke could report that the Heating Plant was under way 
and that, "The food processing building is next in line." 51 

The junior author first became aware of these developments when 
he came to Geneva in the spring of 1948 to interview for a position 
in the Department of Entomology. Drs. Chapman and Carruth dis- 
played architectural plans for the new entomology/plant pathol- 
ogy building stating that construction was imminent. Fortunately, 
his decision to accept the position was not based on the promised 
facilities but rather on the opportunities for field and modest labo- 


"The preceding summer 
was very dry and hot and 
the ground was baked 
hard. Several weeks before 
the ceremony, we selected 
an appropriate spot, care- 
fully lifted the sod and re- 
moved the bone-dry soil to 
a depth of 18 inches and 
refilled the hole with a 
sandy loam, and then re- 
placed the sod. We pro- 
vided a spade with a very 
sharp edge. When the Gov- 
ernor was about to break 
ground, he remarked that 
he had some difficulty in 
obtaining a respectable 
spade full of earth the last 
time he took part in such a 
ceremony a few weeks pre- 
viously. He proceeded to 
put his full weight on the 
sharp spade. He and the 
audience were surprised to 
see the spade penetrate 
without difficulty for more 
than afoot in depth; every- 
body seemed delighted with 
the governor's fine physical 
condition and his effective 

ratory research. As we shall see, it was another 20 years before the 
new entomology-plant pathology facility was in place. 

It was not until 1954 that there was action in response to annual 
pleas for the new food science building. By this time, the New 
York State University System was in place and Cornell University, 
including the Station, became part of it. Finally, $1,800,000 was ap- 
propriated in 1954 from the State University building fund and 
the old 1946 plans were being revised; however, actual construc- 
tion was delayed at least another year. 52 As it turned out, construc- 
tion did not begin until March 18, 1958. Heinicke and the food sci- 
entists were particularly frustrated when acting President of 
Cornell, C. W. De Kiewiet, recommended that the Ithaca Agricul- 
tural Engineering Building be constructed before the Geneva 
project, which originally had first priority Heinicke notes: "Presi- 
dent Day had been in close touch with the Experiment Station but 
the Acting President never visited the Geneva campus and he was 
not moved by remonstrations from the director." 53 

The following account of the ground-breaking ceremony in the 
fall of 1957 by Governor Averell Harriman as part of the celebra- 
tion of the Station's 75th anniversary is interesting and illustrates 
Heinicke's attention for details. "The preceding summer was very 
dry and hot and the ground was baked hard. Several weeks before 
the ceremony, we selected an appropriate spot, carefully lifted the 
sod and removed the bone-dry soil to a depth of 18 inches and re- 
filled the hole with a sandy loam, and then replaced the sod. We 
provided a spade with a very sharp edge. When the Governor 
was about to break ground, he remarked that he had some diffi- 
culty in obtaining a respectable spade full of earth the last time he 
took part in such a ceremony a few weeks previously. He pro- 
ceeded to put his full weight on the sharp spade. He and the audi- 
ence were surprised to see the spade penetrate without difficulty 
for more than a foot in depth; everybody seemed delighted with 
the governor's fine physical condition and his effective tech- 

| "54 

The new Food Research Laboratory was dedicated by Governor 
Nelson Rockefeller on May 5, 1960, two months prior to Heinicke's 
retirement and after an 18-year gestation. It must have given him 
great satisfaction. In his last annual report, he notes that this facil- 
ity was mentioned in each of the last 18 reports since it was first 
recommended in 1942 by the Trustees of the University as one of 
the post-war building projects. The building was partially occu- 
pied in February I960. 55 The facility was considered to be the latest 
and best of its kind and many people came to study it prior to de- 
signing similar facilities. The cost of the new food research build- 

— 115 — 

New Food Research Laboratory dedicated by Governor Nelson Rockefeller on May 5, 1960. 

ing including scientific equipment as of June 30, 1960 was 
$3,526,775. 56 

Before leaving this discussion of the Food Research Laboratory, 
mention should be made of the fact that it provided for research 
in the then newest field of food preservation, ionizing radiation. 
The Station had pioneered in preservation by microbial steriliza- 
tion by heat, by dehydration, and by freezing. The new facility 
contained the equipment and a 6,000 curie cobalt 60 source to 
conduct pioneering research in this newest field. 

The completion of the Food Research Laboratory did not signal 
the end of efforts to modernize the Station's facilities. In 
Heinicke's last report, it was stated that plans were in progress to 
convert the power plant from coal to oil or gas, to modify the 
Fredonia Grape Field Station nursery storage building to useful 
laboratory and office space, to expand the Jordan Hall Library by 
adding space formerly used for the boiler and coal bin, to build 
the new entomology -plant pathology laboratory, and to rehabili- 
tate Sturtevant Hall for use by the Department of Seed Investiga- 
tions and the Plant Introduction work. Director Heinicke left a 
monumental challenge to his successor. 57 

Even though the previously mentioned projects had been initi- 
ated prior to his administration, Heinicke diligently saw that they 
were completed. He also made several contributions to the Sta- 
tion for which he can be given complete credit. When he took of- 
fice in 1942, Director Parrott told him that he was pleased to leave 


Year Name 



















him $700 of "station funds" that he could use any way he 
wanted. Up to that time, produce such as cabbages and peas from 
fertilizer and other field experiments were given away or wasted. 
Heinicke initiated a policy that all such produce should be sold to 
processors. The annual income from sales and services ranged 
from $25,763 in 1942 to $65,806 in 1960. When he retired in 1960, 
he turned over more than $100,000 to his successor, Director 
Barton. 58 

How did Director Heinicke use the Station funds accumulated 
during his 18-year term? He obtained approval from Cornell to 
use part of these funds for acquisition of land rather than renting, 
on the basis that long-term experiments would be jeopardized 
should rental arrangements be terminated. The table at left shows 
a list of farms purchased during his tenure as director. 

The Darrow and Loomis farms each had a barn. A house, which 
came with the Darrow farm, was rented to Station employees un- 
til sold some years later. Five irrigation ponds were built on these 

Heinicke also used Station income funds to build an extension on 
the head house of the greenhouse range in which a biotron (cli- 
mate chamber for studying the behavior of plants and other or- 
ganisms under controlled environmental light, temperature, and 
humidity) was completed in 1959. Nelson Shaulis made use of 
the biotron for some of his pioneering studies on grape produc- 

And finally, Heinicke used these funds to construct two alumi- 
num greenhouses. Most of the construction of the biotron and 
greenhouses was done by the Station craftsmen. It is evident that 

Field trials were just as important 
as research conducted in laborato- 
ries and greenhouses. 


Heinicke made excellent use of the funds he acquired with his 
policy of selling produce. 

During Heinicke's term as director, changes were made in title 
listings for the professional staff. The earliest annual reports 
listed Station personnel as "Station Officers" and included every- 
one under that category from the director to the stenographer 
and the farmer. Professionals were listed as horticulturist or assis- 
tant horticulturist of whatever their specialty might be. This ter- 
minology was used until 1920 when the terms Chief in Research, 
Associate in Research and Assistant in Research were intro- 
duced. 59 These were used until 1943 when each category was 
changed from Research to the corresponding rank of Professor, 
thus making the Station titles comparable to those at Ithaca. The 
staff officially became members of the College of Agriculture fac- 
ulty in 1923, but without voting privileges. 

Director Heinicke became aware that some members of the staff 
wanted to have all the privileges of Cornell faculty including vot- 
ing rights. The matter was brought to the attention of the Univer- 
sity Faculty in 1953 and again in 1955. In December 1955, the 
Geneva staff formally requested full voting privileges. The matter 
was referred to a Faculty Committee on University Policy and 
then to a Special Committee on Procedures and Organization. 
The latter recommended that the professional staff at Geneva be 
granted full voting privileges, and that Heinicke should present 
the case to the University Faculty. The latter voted unanimously 
in favor of the resolution, and the Cornell Trustees soon made it 
official. Heinicke believed this was an important step in strength- 
ening the relations between Ithaca and Geneva staffs. 60 The senior 
author learned later that Heinicke's presentation lasted 45 min- 
utes and that the Faculty later passed a resolution limiting allow- 
able floor time to 15 minutes. However, he was unable to find a 
record of such action in the Faculty minutes. Whether or not this 
was true, it is certain that Heinicke diligently pursued gaining 
voting rights for his staff. 

It is not generally known that Professor W. W. Wilcox was the 
first to suggest to the University Faculty that voting rights be 
granted to Station staff when the Experiment Station became part 
of Cornell in 1923. He was also present 34 years later at the Fac- 
ulty meeting in 1957 to vote in favor of the motion, which was 
similar to his original suggestion. 61 

Director Heinicke held biweekly meetings with the department 
heads. According to verbal reports from Einset, Sayre, and 


Heinicke gave moral 
support to the "Sta- 
tion Club." All members of 
the Station staff, both pro- 
fessional and non- 
professional, were eligible 
to be members of this 
unofficial social group. At 
that time, most members 
were professionals, but this 
gradually changed over the 
years. The annual Station 
Picnics in the summer, the 
annual fall Dinners, and 
the Christmas parties were 
big events and well at- 
tended. They provided op- 
portunities for station fami- 
lies to get together in an in- 
formal friendly atmosphere. 

Chapman, these were frustrating events during which they most 
frequently failed to accomplish their objectives and received lec- 
tures and verbal abuse from the director. He also instituted 
monthly meetings of the faculty which he chaired with authority 
and frequent lectures and admonitions. He used them to discuss 
general problems of conducting the work of the Station, includ- 
ing general housekeeping that involved staff. Ithaca activities im- 
pinging on Geneva were announced. Several standing commit- 
tees dealt with such matters as Station policy, library, seminars, 
and lectures as well as special problems such as salaries and vot- 
ing privileges. Each year there were a series of Station seminars 
in addition to department seminars. It was also an opportunity 
for the staff to bring to the Director's attention such matters that 
he would have brushed off on a one to one basis. There were oc- 
casional confrontations which, to his credit, were not considered 
as personal matters. This was one of his redeeming qualities. 
Only later did most of the staff recognize that his challenging 
manner was his method of finding out whether his "adversary" 
really knew or believed what he or she was saying or writing. 

Director Heinicke believed that attendance of Station staff at sci- 
entific meetings was less than it should have been. When he came 
to Geneva in 1942, few people except department heads and the 
director attended national meetings. He instituted the policy of 
paying "most of the travel expenses for out-of-town meetings" to 
encourage meeting attendance and let it be known that pay raises 
for those that did not attend would be difficult to justify 62 Actu- 
ally, Heinicke may have overstated the situation at Geneva. Many 
of the staff were active in their respective professional societies. P. 
J. Parrott had been president of the Society of Economic Ento- 
mologists, and bacteriologists had been leaders in their fields. 
Similarly, staff in other fields was very active. However, the 
newly introduced policy of "up to $50 per meeting per year," 
while not generous, was quite welcome. 

Heinicke gave moral support to the "Station Club." All members 
of the Station staff, both professional and non-professional, were 
eligible to be members of this unofficial social group. At that 
time, most members were professionals, but this gradually 
changed over the years. The annual Station Picnics in the sum- 
mer, the annual fall Dinners, and the Christmas parties were big 
events and well attended. They provided opportunities for sta- 
tion families to get together in an informal friendly atmosphere. 

There was exceptional growth and development at the Station 
during Heinicke's 18-year administration. Most of it, however, 

— - 1 19 

was already blueprinted for him in 1942 when he assumed office. 
The decision to move dairying to Ithaca and emphasize horticul- 
tural research at Geneva had been settled earlier in Albany and 
Ithaca. The heating plant, the new food science laboratory, and an 
entomology-plant pathology building were in the planning 
stages as part of the Governor Dewey post-war program. 
Heinicke can be credited for keeping all of these projects (except 
the entomology-plant pathology building) on track and com- 
pleted prior to his retirement in 1960, for which he deserves much 
credit. His very nature and track record since his high school 
days demonstrated his ability and single minded determination 
to organize and accomplish his goals. We have also recognized 
his ability to manage Station income funds to add land, ponds, 
greenhouses, and a biotron. 

As important as these were, there is another area that must be 
considered: What was the impact of his administration on the 
productivity of the Station staff? Did he improve morale, promote 
original and creative research, and maintain or improve the cred- 
itability of the Station locally and statewide? Did he, like 
Thatcher bring a Dahlberg to Geneva, or like Hedrick bring a 
Tressler to Geneva? How did he manage the internal problems re- 
lated to the merger of the departments of chemistry and bacteri- 
ology in the new food science and technology department? The 
record indicates that his Ithaca background and biases, plus his 
characteristic confrontational and dogmatic approach to profes- 
sional and non-professional employees probably had a negative 

While talented scientists were hired during his administration, 
there are no records of innovative developments, except in food 
science where these were already planned. In fact, there is evi- 
dence that he had a negative influence in this regard. Two ex- 
amples illustrate this conclusion. 

When James Horsfall resigned to move to the Connecticut Sta- 
tion, he was replaced, in 1939, by an outstanding young plant pa- 
thologist, George McNew. He was exceptionally productive in his 
first three years. Heinicke approached McNew using his usual 
confrontational manner, which the latter refused to accept. Their 
conferences resulted in shouting matches. McNew left in 1943 to 
accept an administrative position in industry, followed by a de- 
partment headship at Iowa State, and finally became managing 
director and Distinguished Scientist at the Boyce Thompson Insti- 
tute for Plant Research. His departure was a significant loss for 
the Station. 

120 — - 

The second involved a very talented biochemist, Robert Holley, 
appointed September 30, 1948, in the Food Science and Technol- 
ogy Department. Holley studied organic constituents of plants, 
including flavor compounds in grapes. His studies on polypep- 
tides led to his interest in the structure of RNA, which he pur- 
sued on a sabbatical leave in California in 1957-1958. He contin- 
ued these RNA studies when he returned to Geneva using rat liv- 
ers as a source of RNA. He was informed by administration that 
all animal work had been moved to Ithaca and that he could not 
pursue this project. 63 Holley reluctantly resigned July 31, 1957, 
and accepted a position in the U. S. Department of Agriculture 
Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Laboratory located on the Cornell Cam- 
pus. Heinicke's version was that "... R. W. Holley, was ... trans- 
ferred to the Federal Soils and Nutrition Laboratory and the De- 
partment of Biochemistry at Ithaca ..." 64 It was there that he un- 
raveled the structure of RNA for which he was awarded the 
Nobel Prize in 1968. In correspondence with his widow and col- 
laborator, Mrs. Holley included the following quote from 
Holley's Nobel Prize Lecture in her letter of June 8, 1994, to the 
junior author: "... During the three years of work on the structure 
of the alanine transfer RNA, we used a total of 1 gm of highly pu- 
rified material. This was isolated in our laboratories from ap- 
proximately 200 gm of bulk yeast transfer RNA, which in turn 
was obtained by phenol extraction of approximately 140 kg of a 
commercial baker's yeast." Mrs. Holley commented that the re- 
quired number of rat livers to conduct Holley's study was not 
feasible and required the change to yeast. She concluded, "It all 
seems quite ironic!" 

We have not found records indicating who was responsible for 
the decision to forbid Holley to continue his research on RNA. 
Heinicke's bias against non-applied work at Geneva and his 
blind adherence to any official decision strongly indicates that he 
supported the decision whether or not he made it originally. The 
fact that David Hand, head of Food Science and Technology, was 
away on sabbatical at the time in no way precludes him from be- 
ing involved. He was known to be antagonistic toward any diver- 
sion of his faculty away from his immediate departmental 
goals. 65 

The Holley affair raises the question of possible implications that 
the merger of the Departments of Bacteriology and Chemistry 
may have had on the research programs in other departments. 
During the 1940s and early 1950s, chemists A. A. Avens and G. W. 
Pearce were collaborating with P. J. Chapman on a basic study of 
petroleum oils as horticultural spray oils for control of insects 

121 — 

and mites. This was a world class research project that elucidated 
the mode of action and what oils could be used effectively with- 
out injury to host plants. It received worldwide acclaim from sci- 
entists, farmers, and the petroleum industry. The specifications de- 
veloped in this study for spray oils are in use on a world-wide ba- 
sis still in 1998. After his appointment as head of Food Science and 
Technology, Hand informed Chapman that Pearce was needed for 
food research and no longer could continue to collaborate with 
him. Director Heinicke supported Hand's position. To make mat- 
ters worse for Chapman or others who might need collaboration 
from a chemist, Director Heinicke informed Chapman that he 
could not hire a chemist in Entomology and established the rule 
that all chemists at Geneva would be assigned to the Food Science 
and Technology department. It was not until after Heinicke retired 
that Chapman was able to bring a chemist into the Department of 

Had Whitman Jordan (1896-1921) been director when the Food Sci- 
ence and Technology Department was formed, there undoubtedly 
would have been a much different policy from the restricted role 
for chemists adopted by Director Heinicke. In 1896, Jordan wrote 
"It should be remarked that there is scarcely any line of investiga- 
tion in which the Station engages where the aid of the chemist is 
not required." 66 

Fortunately, by the time the Entomology department needed a bac- 
teriologist to study insect pathogens as insecticides, Heinicke had 
retired. However, the question remains as to the status of the Sta- 
tion bacteriologists in the merger with the chemists. The picture is 
muddied but does not appear to speak well for administration. 
Robert S. Breed retired October 10, 1947, after 34 years of outstand- 
ing service at the Station. Breed's accomplishments in the field of 
bacteriology were reviewed earlier, including his work on Bergey's 
Manual of Determinative Bacteriology. He was continuing with his 
Bergey's Manual and some other activities after retirement. Direc- 
tor Heinicke refused to provide him office space. 

Harold J. Conn retired April 30, 1948, after 37 years service at 
Geneva. His work on the classification of soil bacteria had won 
him world-wide recognition and resulted in many important pa- 
pers and bulletins. In 1923, he was named Chairman of the newly 
formed Biological Stain Commission which was formed after 
World War I to make the United States independent of outside 
sources of supply for stains used in medicine and other fields. The 
Station supported the work as a public service to agriculture and 
biology until the project became self-supporting. The work was ex- 


" ¥ feelings got so bitter 
JL that we dropped our 
meetings.. .he never praised 
anyone. He never gave credit 
to the workers. . . " 

panded during World War II, and the Commission was incorpo- 
rated under the New York State Board of Regents. Conn was 
named president. Conn was also active in other organizations, in- 
cluding being Treasurer and Executive Secretary of Biotech Publica- 
tions. He was continuing his connections with the Stain Commis- 
sion and Biotech Publications after retirement. He also was refused 
office space by Heinicke. 

George Hucker had spent his many years at Geneva working pri- 
marily on the bacteriology of milk and milk products and dairy 
sanitation. He continued some of these studies for only a few years 
after the dairy work was moved to Ithaca. He never did get seri- 
ously involved in vegetable and fruit studies. Hucker had also de- 
vised a technology for producing a card that farmers could use to 
determine whether or not their cows had mastitis. He personally 
hired a technician to produce the cards at night or on weekends. 
Hand and Heinicke were generally unhappy with Hucker's perfor- 
mance and, believing that this small business was unethical, 
threatened to fire him. According to P. J. Chapman, 67 a close confi- 
dant of Hucker, Hucker became very concerned. Chapman advised 
him to go to Ithaca to see Dean Myers, which he did. The Dean ad- 
vised him that he was well within his rights and told Heinicke and 
Hand to desist. Dean Myers owned a commercial farm. 

Heinicke seems to have come down hard on the bacteriologists, per- 
haps in part because he believed that they had agitated to keep the 
dairy work at Geneva and convinced dairy farmers and industry 
representative to send telegrams to President Day. Heinicke faced 
perplexing problems in dealing with the bacteriologists and the loss 
of dairying at Geneva as well as amalgamating them with the chem- 
ists in the new Food Science and Technology Department. Unfortu- 
nately, it appears that the results were not totally successful. 

Heinicke also had problems with the Pomology staff. The reaction 
by the staff to his assumption of head of the department, his prun- 
ing demonstration, and the departure of two pomologists have al- 
ready been discussed. The department fruit seminars were aban- 
doned because Heinicke took over every session and made it diffi- 
cult for the speaker to continue. "Feelings got so bitter that we 
dropped our meetings. ..he never praised anyone. He never gave 
credit to the workers..." 68 

There was also discontent with Heinicke in the departments of 
Plant Pathology, Vegetable Crops and Seed Investigations, but the 
only direct negative impact here appears to have been McNew's 
resignation as reported earlier. 



r e must conclude 
that Heinicke had a 
negative impact on our 
Station's traditional philo- 
sophy followed since 
Sturtevant's time that 
"theory and practice march 

In summary, an overview of Heinicke's 18 years as director of the 
Station gives the impression that he was one of the most produc- 
tive directors. In his final report, there is a brief summary of his 18 
years. Whether this was written by Heinicke or by Luckett is not 
certain, but it surely had Heinicke's approval and expressed his 
satisfaction with his accomplishments. 69 

"The administration of the Station since 1942 has been carried on 
with sympathetic understanding and friendly guidance of three 
presidents of Cornell: Edmund Ezra Day 1942-1949; Cornelius W. 
deKiewiet, 1949-1951; and Dean W. Malott, 1951 to present; and 
under the immediate jurisdiction of three Deans of the College of 
Agriculture: C. E. Ladd, 1942-1943; W. L. Myers, 1943-59; C. E. 
Palm, 1959 to the present. During this period of 18 years, the unifi- 
cation of the research work of the College of Agriculture at Ithaca 
and of the Experiment Station at Geneva has been completed in ac- 
cordance with the plan that provided for efficiency and economy 
of operation while safeguarding the vital interests of the Station as 
originally contemplated in 1923 by the former Board of Control of 
the New York Agricultural Experiment Station and by the Trustees 
of Cornell University. 

"Considerable progress has been made toward the realization of 
the goal restated by the late Dean Carl E. Ladd in 1942 as the 
policy of Cornell with respect to the Geneva Campus, viz., to de- 
velop the Experiment Station as a horticultural institute with horti- 
culture defined in a broad sense to include the production and uti- 
lization of fruit and vegetable crops grown for processing. It is 
now well recognized by the staffs engaged in agricultural research 
at Ithaca and at the Geneva campus of Cornell, and generally by 
the farmers throughout the State, that the research programs at the 
New York State College of Agriculture and the Experiment Station 
are closely integrated and supplement rather than duplicate the 
work involved. A feeling of mutual respect and esteem and a spirit 
of whole hearted cooperation and team work have been gradually 
developed in the groups of professional specialists at both locali- 
ties within the framework of academic freedom that permits a 
wide latitude for individual initiative among coworkers having 
equal responsibilities and full faculty status." 

With few minor exceptions, the statement accurately reflects the 
status of the Station and its relationships to the Ithaca campus 
when Heinicke turned the reins over to D.W. Barton on July 1, 
1960. The latter concurred generally with the assessment. 70 Direc- 
tor Heinicke produced the positives in great abundance and must 
be judged as one of our most productive directors, but with the 

~-124 — 

"T tried to talk with 
JL Heinicke once about the 
value of imagination in re- 
search and that one of the 
roles of a professor was to 
contemplate on where his 
particular field might lead 
— the objectives of his par- 
ticular field — and that his 
contribution was mapping 
out a course of research and 
trying to stay ahead of the 
needs rather than emphasis 
on collection of the detailed 
data. Frankly, I don't think 
Heinicke even caught what 
I was talking about, be- 
cause his reply was, 'Profes- 
sor, you collect facts. That's 
all that is necessary'. I tried 
to point out ... that facts, 
unless they are correlated 
into a line of reasoning and 
effort, meant little. He said, 
'Facts always mean some- 
thing.' ... The Station lost 
something during 
Heinicke' s regime. I think, 
in many ways, it lost its 
leadership in research, as it 
had been known in this 
state in the field of agricul- 
ture, for the very reasons 
which were mentioned 
above. That is, we did not 
contemplate sufficiently 
and we were left in the de- 
tails unrelated to a general 
program. " 

caveat that much of the physical improvements were part of a 
master plan already in progress. There were, however, unex- 
pressed negatives in the Annual Report account of his adminis- 

Paul Chapman gave a rather detailed evaluation of Heinicke as 
director. "Here is an individual who had a lot of the qualities that 
you need in a good administrator. He was: an efficient office 
manager, forehanded, made decisions on time and even ahead of 
time, extremely able in fiscal matters, understood money and 
budgets, installed business-like ways of carrying out departmen- 
tal affairs, had no favorites, held no grudges, felt responsibility 
for ensuring that tax payers got full value for money invested, 
but still was not a successful director." 71 

By his statement, which stated that he did not feel Heinicke was 
"a successful director," Chapman was probably referring to the 
nebulous areas of esprit de corps, morale, and achievement of sci- 
entific excellence and productivity, which are so difficult to mea- 
sure. Also, the exodus of recognized outstanding staff was not re- 
placed with comparable talent. 

In Chapter I, Chapman related the account of Samuel Johnson's 
(first director of the Connecticut Station) reaction to Lewis 
Sturtevant's lecture in 1882 on what should and should not be the 
role of agricultural experiment stations as follows: "...that mean- 
ingful research could only be performed by trained scientists; that 
since the analysis of fertilizers to detect fraudulent products did 
not involve experimentation, such work should not form a part of 
an Experiment Station's program." Johnson's reaction was that he 
was "ashamed not to have such an Experiment Station." In James 
G. Horsfall's recent history of the Connecticut Station, he empha- 
sizes that the Station had followed since early times the practice 
of studying the basic as well as the practical aspects of agricul- 
tural research. In his inimitable style, Horsfall coined the useful 
phrase "theory and practice march together." We must conclude 
that Heinicke had a negative impact on our Station's traditional 
philosophy followed since Sturtevant's time that "theory and 
practice march together." 

Hucker seems to have said it in the following account of a discus- 
sion with Heinicke: "I tried to talk with Heinicke once about the 
value of imagination in research and that one of the roles of a 
professor was to contemplate on where his particular field might 
lead — the objectives of his particular field — and that his contribu- 
tion was mapping out a course of research and trying to stay 


ahead of the needs rather than emphasis on collection of the de- 
tailed data. Frankly, I don't think Heinicke even caught what I 
was talking about, because his reply was, 'Professor, you collect 
facts. That's all that is necessary'. I tried to point out.. .that facts, 
unless they are correlated into a line of reasoning and effort, 
meant little. He said, 'Facts always mean something'... The Station 
lost something during Heinicke's regime. I think, in many ways, 
it lost its leadership in research, as it had been known in this state 
in the field of agriculture, for the very reasons which were men- 
tioned above. That is, we did not contemplate sufficiently and we 
were left in the details unrelated to a general program." 72 Many, 
if not all the faculty received the same treatment beginning with 
"Now professor, what are the facts?" 


1 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, pp. 1-13. 

2 Ladd letter to Skeffington, 10/20/38. 

3 Chapman Oral History 1964, p. 169. 

4 Sperry Oral History, 1943, p. 58. 

5 Hucker Oral History (11), p. 203. 

6 Chapman Oral History pp. 173-174. 

7 Sperry Oral History 1943, p. 58. 

8 Chapman Oral History p. 180. 

9 Ladd letter to President Edmund E. Day, March 31, 1942. 

10 D. W. Barton, personal comunication, 1996. 
" Heinicke Oral History 1967, pp. 101-102. 

12 Heinicke Oral History 1967, pp. 119-120. 

13 Hucker Oral History 1962, vol. 2. p. 203. 

14 D. W. Barton, personal communication, 1995. 

15 Luckett Oral History 1962, p. 33. 

1,1 D. W. Barton, personal communication, 4/11/95. 

17 Way, R. D. 1986. A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. NYSAES, 

Geneva, NY 1986, pp. 49-50. 
Ifi Wellington Oral History, 1962, pp. 76-77. 

19 Tressler Oral History 1964, p, 66. 

20 Tressler Oral History, pp. 65-66. 

21 Tressler Oral History, p. 65. 

22 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, p, 101. 

23 Chapman Oral History, 1965, pp. 55-56. 

24 Hucker Oral History, 1962, vol. 2, pp. 207-211. 

25 Hucker 's account of the Lafayette Inn meeting is the only reference to this 
event that has been found. Chapman and Luckett did not mention it in their 
oral histories. However, the intense pride of the carpenters in their work and 
the friction with Heinicke were well known at that time. 

lh NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1942, pp. 9-12. 

27 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1943, p. 9. 

2S Heinicke Oral History, pp. 101-104. 

29 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, pp. 105-106. 

30 Underline is authors' emphasis. 

31 Ladd letter to Dahlberg, 4/1/43. 

32 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, pp. 33-40. 

33 This is an example of Heinicke's very strict application of regulations. 

34 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 36. 

35 Dahlberg letter to Ladd, 1943. 

36 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, pp. 36-40. 

126 — 

37 Heinicke Oral History, 1963, p. 101. 

38 Heinicke Oral History, 1963, p. 110. 

39 Hucker Oral History, 1962, pp. 118-120. 
4,1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1922, p. 15. 

41 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, p. 111. 

42 Personal communications, August 1991 and April 5, 1995 respectively. 

43 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1922, p. 16. 

44 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, p. 101. 

45 Heinicke Oral History,1967, p. 114. 
4 " NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1953. pp. 18-20. 
47 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1960, p. 26. 

4S Hucker Oral History, 1962, p. 189. 

4 " NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1945, p 9. 

s " NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1946, p 10. 

51 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1949, p. 2. 

52 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1954, p 23. 

53 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, pp. 113-114. 

54 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, pp. 114-115. 

55 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1960, p. 1. 
s " NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1960, p. 22. 

57 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1960, pp. 26-27. 

58 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, p. 182. 

39 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1920, Bui No 483, p. 2. 

60 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, pp. 136-137. 

61 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, pp. 175-176. 
" 2 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, p. 155. 

63 David B. Hand, head of Food Science and Technology, insisted that Holley 
give 50 per cent of his time to projects Hand was interested in pursuing, 
which annoyed Holley no end. (Personal communication from A. C. Davis, 

64 Heinicke Oral History, 1967, p. 113. 

65 Chapman Oral History, 1965, p. 98. 
"" NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1896, p. 9. 

67 Personal communication with Chapman. 

h8 Wellington Oral History, 1962, p. 77. 

69 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1960, p. 31. 

70 D. W. Barton, personal communication, 7/12/95. 

71 Chapman Oral History, 1965, p. 168. 

72 Hucker Oral History, 1962, pp. 194-195. 

— 127- 

Donald W. Barton 

Donald W. Barton. 

On July 1, 1960, Donald W. Barton became the ninth 
Director of the New York State Agricultural Station. He 
was the third Station faculty member to be selected for 
this position. Drs. Hedrick and Parrott were selected earlier. But 
unlike them, he had had limited exposure with New York fruit 
growers but was well known to vegetable growers and had 
excellent contacts with canners and freezers. He was well liked 
by his associates at Geneva and Ithaca. 

Director Barton was born June 12, 1921, in Fresno, Califor- 
nia. He divided his early years living and working on fruit 
and vegetable farms where he learned the discipline of hard 
work and the performance of tasks in a timely manner. He 
attended the University of California, Berkeley, receiving a 
Bachelor of Science degree in plant science in February 1947 
and Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics in June 1949. The fact 
that he started his doctoral research while he was still an 
undergraduate and was awarded his Ph.D. just two years 
after receiving his B.S. provides insight for the manner in 
which he would conduct his professional career as an 
agricultural scientist and administrator. 

Barton's college education was interrupted by military service in 
the Air Force from January 1943 to February 1946. He was bom- 
bardier on a night bombing mission over Germany when his 
plane was hit by antiaircraft fire. He parachuted from his dam- 
aged and burning plane, broke a leg on landing on a mountain, 
was captured and spent the rest of the War in German hospitals 
and prisons. The only redeeming result of this experience was the 
opportunity to learn German. 

After completing his graduate studies at Berkeley, he accepted an 
Atomic Energy Commission post-doctoral fellowship at the 
University of Missouri from 1949 to 1951. He was appointed 

— 128"— 

assistant professor of genetics at Missouri in 1950. Barton left 
Missouri in 1951 and moved to the New York State Agricultural 
Experiment Station as Associate Professor in the Department of 
Vegetable Crops. He was responsible for the pea and sweet corn 
breeding projects. Interestingly, he had been offered, at the same 
time, positions at Columbia and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. 
The Columbia position was primarily in basic genetics, whereas 
the VPI assignment was mostly applied. He felt that the Geneva 
position offered the opportunity to do both basic and applied 
research. Additionally, his major professor advised that Cornell 
University was a better institution to be from, should he wish to 
make a change later. 3 

Barton's work from 1951 to 1959 was totally involved with re- 
search on plant breeding, primarily with peas and sweet corn. He 
had several publications during this period but was not a prolific 
writer. He collaborated with William Schroeder of Plant Pathol- 
ogy in developing disease resistant varieties. He developed a 
strong liaison with the processing industry, which he considered 
a very important segment of the public that the Station serves. 4 
These contacts with industry led to his sabbatical leave at 
Corvallis, Oregon, working on a three-state (Idaho, Washington, 
and Oregon) pea research project supported by the processing 
industry. While he was away, he was appointed head of the 
Vegetable Crops Department following Professor Sayre's retire- 
ment. This was Barton's first administrative experience. He 
returned to Geneva in March 1960 and was immersed in the task 
of being Head of a department while continuing with his re- 
search programs. Barton's headship lasted for only three months. 

Heinicke announced in March 1960 his intention to retire at the 
end of June 1960, and that Dean Charles Palm was in the process 
of selecting a new director and was soliciting views from faculty 
and department heads. Barton did not consider himself a logical 
candidate. 5 His only involvement with administration had been 
to serve on a committee in 1958, which had the responsibility for 
selecting candidates for the vacant position of Dean of the Col- 
lege of Agriculture. This gave him good exposure to college 

One day in mid-June 1960, he was summoned to the Director's 
office to meet with Dean Palm and Director Heinicke. The Dean 
stated that he had found strong support from Geneva faculty and 
department heads for Barton to be the next director and offered 
him the position. This came as a complete surprise to Barton. 
After talking to several faculty and department heads and gain- 

— 129- 

ing a sense of support, he accepted the assignment. 6 He became 
the ninth director of the Station on July 1, 1960. 

It may be useful at this point to speculate how it came to pass 
that a man with essentially no administrative experience and 
with a good but not spectacular record as a researcher was chosen 
for this important position as director of the now large and 
prestigious New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. In 
the first place, great credit should go to Dean Palm in opening the 
selection process to guidance from Geneva staff, thus avoiding 
the problems experienced with Director Heinicke's appointment. 
Also, Dean Palm chose a personable, well-liked Geneva staff 
member who had few if any enemies. Barton had managed to get 
along satisfactorily with Director Heinicke and had gained his 
support. He also had strong support from New York canners and 
freezers, as noted earlier, and was liked by the vegetable growers. 
In addition, his college record indicated a man who knew what 
he wanted to do and could get it done quickly and on time. 
Further, his training was in plant science and genetics, disciplines 
fundamental to many of the Station's programs. His military 
experience suggested a person of courage and stamina. 

A review of correspondence among members of the Vegetable 
Crops departments at Ithaca and Geneva and Director Palm and 
Dean Myers is enlightening. A letter from Barton, who was on 
sabbatical leave in Oregon at that time, addressed to Professor C. 
Sayre (with copies to Director Heinicke, Director Palm, Dean 
Myers, Ithaca Vegetable Department Head H. Munger, and 
Geneva Vegetable Department acting Department Head M. 
Vittum) must have impressed Dean Myers and Director Palm. 7 
At that time there was a bitter controversy raging between the 
two departments on how a new $20,000 appropriation for irriga- 
tion of vegetable crops was to be divided. It was part of the 
deliberations in progress to develop a five-year coordinated plan 
for the two departments. Barton's calm logical analysis of the 
underlying problems, which were causing the difficulties plus his 
well thought out solutions were a beacon of light in the clouds of 
bickering. He stated that the division of responsibilities according 
to the end use (market or processing) was illogical and, in fact, 
was not practiced for three vegetable crops grown both for 
market and processing and that there had been no problems 
associated with them. The problems arose when responsibility for 
crops with both end uses were divided. Both departments were 
obligated to conduct overlapping research as a basis to fulfill 
their responsibilities. Barton also pointed out that a major source 
of friction between departments was the lack of an extension 


presence in Geneva and suggested that a vegetable extension 
person be stationed at Geneva. This concept, opposed by Director 
Heinicke and Ithaca Extension, will be discussed later in this 

The calm tone and sound logic of Barton's letter compared to 
correspondence of other participants surely impressed Ithaca 
administrators. Director Palm expressed his reaction to the 
vegetable crop affair as follows: "The more I read of copies of 
letters from Charlie Sayre and Vittum of the Vegetable Crops 
Department at Geneva, and listen to suggestions from our staff in 
Vegetable Crops as to what might be done with the Geneva 
department, the more I am convinced that the Entomology 
Departments in the two Stations are composed of a group of 
angels!" 8 

Director Barton assumed his responsibilities at a favorable time. 
He followed an administration that had repressed some innova- 
tive areas of research. It was also a time when the Station was still 
the beneficiary of the State University of New York expansion 
program. The reaction of Geneva Station staff to the announce- 
ment was one of mild surprise for the same reasons Barton felt 
when he was first approached. He was young, had only a few 
years in research, and lacked administrative experience. He also 
had not shown any evidence that he aspired to an administrative 
post. If there were any disgruntled persons, there was no evi- 
dence of same. One often mentioned candidate, Edward H. 
Smith, resigned October 31, 1964, to accept the headship of the 
large Department of Entomology at North Carolina State Univer- 
sity; however, this move was not thought to be a reaction to the 
Barton appointment. Further, Barton's appointment did not 
preclude Smith's potential to succeed Chapman as head of 
Entomology when the latter would reach mandatory retirement 
age. The general response of Station staff, both professional and 
non-professional, can be summarized in one word: relief. 

Chapman was still head of the Department of Entomology when 
he gave his oral history in 1965. The following quotation seems to 
express the general response to Director Barton's administration: 
"I think that he (Barton) is a very different person from Heinicke. 
He says 'no' as frequently as Heinicke did, but he is endowed 
with the ability to deal equally with individuals and give them a 
feeling of discussing the merits of a problem on equal footing... if 
the phone rings now and I'm told that Barton wants to speak to 
me, I'm sure that regardless of the complexity of the problem, 
that it will be discussed freely, in the absence of all tension and 

— 131 

" T" have great admiration 
JL for Director Heinicke as 
director of the Station, hut 
admit it was a great relief 
when Don Barton took over. " 

that we would arrive at a solution that would be rather mutually 
acceptable... (he had the ability) to deal in an effective, friendly 
manner with people and still retain his position as being boss." 9 
He could have added that Director Barton expected a similar 
approach to problems from members of his staff and could be 
firm with those few that did not. 

By 1960, relations between the Station and the City and Towns of 
Geneva were quite satisfactory. Barton did not have to face any 
crises similar to the one Heinicke faced in his first months in 
office. In fact, the next 20 years were very calm in this respect, 
and there were no rumors that the Station might be moved to 
Ithaca. Barton and his wife, Virginia, and children had been 
living in the community for nine years. They were active in North 
Presbyterian Church, public schools, scouts, and other activities, 
and were respected and well liked. Soon after becoming director, 
he was made an honorary member of the Geneva Rotary. Any 
matters involving Station relations with the City or Town of 
Geneva were handled quietly and apparently satisfactorily. 

Even though Director Heinicke had the respect and support of 
the College of Agriculture administrators, there was some uneasi- 
ness about some of his handling of internal Station affairs as 
noted in Chapter IX. Perhaps the comment by former Research 
Director, Dean, and University Provost Keith Kennedy best 
summarizes the situation. He stated, "I have great admiration for 
Director Heinicke as director of the Station, but admit that it was 
a relief when Don Barton took over." 

Relations between the Station and Cornell University had 
evolved over the first 100 years from complete independence to 
integration as a functioning unit of the University. The unofficial 
attempts to coordinate overlapping activities during Jordan and 
Thatcher administrations and the increasing concern in Albany 
about duplicate research resulted in the official union in 1923 
with Station oversight delegated to the dean of the College of 
Agriculture. This union failed to bring harmony during Director 
Hedrick's and Dean Ladd's administrations. Great improvements 
were made by Directors Parrott and Heinicke, but there still were 
unsettled matters as noted above at the department levels as well 
as at the deans and directors levels in 1960. 

Up to this point in this history, we have emphasized only the 
Station's administration's and staff's acceptance of Cornell's 
administrative role. Here, we shall explore Cornell's acceptance 
of the Station as a functioning, integral unit of the University 

— 132— 

Left to right: Willard Robinson 
(food scientist) and John Einset 
(fruit breeder) with new wine 
resulting from collaborative effort. 

rather than as a problem or a competitor. A review of relations 
over the years indicates that there had been a wide range of 
acceptance or non-acceptance depending upon individuals' 
backgrounds and prejudices. Director Hedrick wanted to main- 
tain independence and continued to bypass Cornell. Dean Ladd 
was "disgusted" with Director Hedrick's activities and vice versa. 
Ladd's handling of this difficult situation obviously did not bring 
the two institutions together. His management of the transfer of 
Dahlberg to Ithaca was questionable from the latter 's point of 
view. On the other hand, both Dean Myers, Dean Palm, and 
Director Kennedy made good progress in making the Station a 
participating unit of the University at the administrative level. 
The ramifications of the 1960 appointment of Director Barton to 
Assistant Director of Research of the College of Agriculture and 
Associate Director in 1967 is discussed later in this chapter. 

As for relations at the professorial level, the record was uneven 
and seems to have varied more on the basis of individuals, their 
nature, and backgrounds than on the physical separation. In the 
junior author's experiences from 1948 through 1968 when he was 
responsible for research on the biology and control of insects 
attacking apples and pears in Western New York, he had no 
problems with his extension counterparts in Ithaca. It was clearly 
understood that each was dependent on the other and worked 
closely together throughout the year. The only problem he had 
with Ithaca entomologists was when James Brann was trans- 
ferred from the Station staff at the Hudson Valley Laboratory to 

— 133 — 

the Ithaca Entomology staff to work on orchard spray machinery. 
Drs. Brann and Arthur Burrell were making claims for concen- 
trated sprays, which Geneva entomologists believed were not 
correct and soon proved it. This created an awkward and embar- 
rassing situation in terms of presentations to fruit growers. This 
problem was solved when Brann was assigned to the fruit exten- 
sion position in Ithaca where he worked harmoniously with 
Geneva staff in developing and presenting control recommenda- 
tions to fruit growers. 

Director Barton had good relations with vegetable growers and 
the food processing industry prior to being appointed director. 
During his 20 years as director, he was successful in maintaining 
and increasing his contacts with industry for the benefit of the 
Station's programs, the farmers, and the food and beverage 
industries. His abilities and style in this area are best illustrated in 
the following account of the development of the wine industry in 
New York during his administration. 

In 1960, the New York grape industry consisted primarily of 
Concord grapes, with 85 to 90 per cent of the harvested crop 
being used to make juice. Nelson Shaulis, a viticulturist in the 
Station Pomology Department, had developed cultural practices 
that could double the production of grapes per acre. Already, 
production had reached the saturation point of the then existing 
market for grape juice. Director Barton was involved in a meeting 
of processors with Professor Bennett A. Dominick, Jr., an agricul- 
tural economist at Ithaca who was studying the grape industry at 
the time. Upon returning from the meeting, he talked with Sta- 
tion food scientists about developing other by-products from 
Concord grapes. He noted that "it was interesting that no one at 
the meeting foresaw the dramatic change that was going to occur 
in the wine industry of the State." 10 Director Barton tried to 
establish a relationship with the wine grape processors but had 
little success after several visits to individual wineries. He was 
unable to develop their interests in common problems that 
required research, even after a joint meeting attended by Director 
(Ithaca) Keith Kennedy. Barton and Kennedy asked Dean Charles 
Palm for help. After a year and three luncheon meetings, the 
grape processors became aware that there were industry-wide 
problems related to New York that might be solved with research. 
In 1964, the processors stated that they wanted an expanded wine 
research program at Geneva and supported a $50,000 appropria- 
tion in new money specifically earmarked for an expanded grape 
and wine research program with the grape component being the 
development of new varieties for wine. 

-134 — 


New York State 60 
Agricultural Experiment Station 
Cornell University 
Geneva, New York 7 





13 12 11 







1 Jordan Hall 

4 HedrickHall 

5 Sturtevant Hall 

6 Integrated Pest Management 

7 Triplex House 

8 666 W. North St. 

9 Storage Shed 

10 Old Greenhouse Range 

11 Stone Barn 

12 Sawdust Cafe 

13 Fruit Storage 

14 Utility Storage 

15 Machinery Shed 

18 Spray Shed 

19 Campus Spray Facility 
21 Nursery Cellars 

23 629 Castle St. 

24 649 Castle St. 

25 659 Castle St. 

26 665 Castle St. 

27 673 Castle St. 

28 681 Castle St. 

34 Food Research Laboratory 

35 Barton Laboratory 

36 Heating Plant 

37 Ent/PP Pole Barn 

39 Seed Processing 

40 Raw Products 

41 General Services 

42 Pomology Pole Barn 

43 USDA Entomology Building 

53 Soils Building 

54 Power Substation 

55 Farm Services 

56 Campus Warehouse 
59 New Insectary 

60 Recreation Complex 

61 Metal Pesticide Building 

65 Industrial Chemical Building 

68 Plant Path Pesticide Storage 

69 USDA Screenhouse 

70 Pom. & Vit. Screenhouse 
72 USDA Plastic Greenhouse 
74 Germplasm Repository 
93 Service Pole Barn 

Map of the Experiment Station — 1988. 

The need for regular meetings with the top winery staff was no 
longer necessary. Drs. Willard Robinson and David Hand of the 
Food Science and Technology Department took the leadership in 
developing a Wine Technical Advisory Panel composed of wine 
makers and laboratory research staff from a key group of five 
wineries. Besides reporting on new key developments, the panel 
reviewed unsolved problems and suggested procedures for 
solving them. All these efforts resulted in a $50,000 appropriation 
from state funds plus annual grants of $11,000 to $15,000 from 
wine and grape industries. 11 

— 135 — 

In 1976, the Farm Winery Legislation was passed in Albany. The 
bill encouraged the establishment of small wineries in New York 
by reducing the state license fee for wineries producing less than 
25,000 gallons per year. This limit was soon raised to 50,000 
gallons. The Governor's office asked Director Barton for an 
opinion on it. Barton was in favor of it and gave an affirmative 
response even though he anticipated some opposition from the 
large established wineries. He was relieved to learn that the 
president of Taylor Wines favored it because he believed it 
would be good for the New York grape industry. During the next 
six years, over 50 new wineries were established. 12 In 1998 there 
were over 120 "farm" wineries. These events and developments 
illustrate Director Barton's abilities to work with administrators, 
Ithaca and Geneva scientists, and industry in identifying and 
solving common problems and promoting agriculture. 
The key role that Station scientists played in the remarkable 
growth of small wineries and the production of world class 
wines in New York is discussed in the Food Science and Pomol- 
ogy and Viticulture chapters. Their contributions enabled grow- 
ers to make a value added product, wine, which they could sell 
at much greater profit than for unprocessed grapes. 

The directorship at the Geneva Station had been officially a full- 
time job with two exceptions. Director Thatcher had been given 
the added responsibility for the Ithaca Experiment Station. The 
arrangement was not satisfactory with the Ithaca Staff, and 
Thatcher elected to move to the presidency of Massachusetts 
State College after only six years at Geneva. The other exception 
was Director Heinicke's added responsibilities as head of both 
the Ithaca and Geneva Departments of Pomology. Director 
Barton initially had no official responsibilities beyond his direc- 
torship, which included some very challenging problems. He 
neither had the time nor apparently the inclination to keep 
abreast of and be active in his scientific specialty (plant genetics), 
nor get involved in added administrative obligations. However, 
after the major challenges were under control and as he had 
gained respect as an able administrator, he accepted several 
assignments related to his primary responsibilities as Director of 
the Station. 

In 1960, he was named Assistant Director of Research at Ithaca 
while maintaining full responsibilities for the Geneva Station. 
His Ithaca title was elevated to Associate Director in 1967. The 
duties of this new office were never defined. 13 In essence he 
became part of the College of Agriculture administrative team 
("Dean's Cabinet"). It was a testimonial to the respect and 

— 136- 

confidence he had earned. It also indicated that the Station had 
become a truly participating unit of the College in fact as well as 
in name. 

For about 20 years following the establishment of the State 
University of New York in 1948, the deans and directors, includ- 
ing the director of the Geneva Station, had access to officers, 
legislators, and the governor's office in Albany regarding fiscal 
and other matters. As time went on, the State University gained 
more and more control until the Albany ties were cut off. The 
Cornell Trustees established a vice presidential position with 
responsibility for liaison between Cornell and the various offices, 
agencies, and State University in Albany with a focus on budget- 
ary matters and developing needed renovations and new build- 
ings for the statutory colleges. The position was filled by 
Constance E. Cook, who had been a legislator in Albany and who 
had many contacts there; however, she had no experience with 
the internal management of the University. Director Barton was 
approached by Dean Keith Kennedy and asked if he would take 
the assignment to advise Cook on the facilities programs of the 
statutory colleges. He accepted the responsibility in 1976 in 
addition to continuing as Director of the Station. 

Director Barton was involved with several projects working 
closely with the Facilities Coordinator of the State University 
Construction Fund, which resulted in a five-year projection for 
the renovation of the heating system of the statutory colleges. 
There were also some other items, but his greatest satisfaction 
was making the budget plea to the Office of Capital Facilities 
Group in a personal meeting in Albany, which resulted in the 
approval of 18 million dollars of funding for Academic I and II in 
the College of Agriculture at Ithaca. Shortly after this, Director 
Barton went on administrative leave and the Cornell vice presi- 
dent position was dropped. The concept of and need for a statu- 
tory facilities coordinator, which had been recognized earlier, was 
established. Herbert R. Pallesen, who had been the Physical Plant 
Manager at Geneva, was hired. He not only had the experience of 
working with the State University Fund on the Geneva building 
program but also had a strong engineering background. He did 
an excellent job in this new assignment. 14 

Director Barton was involved in a non-Station but related activity 
during the 1970s when Governor Nelson Rockefeller established 
the New York Pesticide Control Board. Cornell was represented 
by James Dewey (Department of Entomology at Ithaca) and 
Barton. 15 There were 13 others representing a broad spectrum of 

— 137 — 

interests and perspectives on the issue of the dangers of pesticide 
use. The Board met quarterly on matters referred to it by the 
Departments of Health and Agriculture and Markets or directly 
from the Governor's office or the Legislature. Eventually these 
activities led to the passage of the New York State Restricted 
Pesticide Law. Dewey Director Barton, and a few others were 
instrumental in keeping the wording of the bill effective, but 
reasonable in terms of implementation, administration, and the 
safe use of pesticides. This was no easy task because of the strong 
positions taken by anti-pesticide groups. Director Barton related 
how subjective people's beliefs were on certain issues. Some 
members were against pesticide use on farms yet favored the use 
of poisons in New York City to kill nuisance pigeons. 16 

The testimony of a fruit farmer and then president of the New 
York Farm Bureau, Robert Greig, provided some sanity to the 
hearings on the bill and also gave Barton a story he told often to 
his colleagues at the Station. "Senator Smith had brought out in 
discussion with Bob Greig the fact that if DDT were banned, Bob 
would find other alternatives for the control of his insects. How- 
ever, as Bob pointed out Tt would cost me some thousands of 
dollars more, and we have an old saying around our farm that 
every thousand dollars counts. And it's not quite like you folks 
who work in billions of dollars down here in Albany'" And then 
Senator Smith asked, "Wouldn't you have a concern about the 
environmental impact here in your orchard when using DDT?" 
Bob's response was, "Senator, I want to tell you about my little 
old dog. Now, this dog lived to an age of 14 years, which is a 
pretty good age for a dog. Whenever I would get the spray rig 
going in the summer, that dog would tag along behind because 
he liked to walk along with the mist coming down on him on a 
hot day; and there was only one effect that we really noticed 
about that dog. During the summer he sure didn't have any 
fleas!" Director Barton pointed out that such folksy testimony 
was effective, particularly because it presented the true nature of 
DDT — it was relatively safe for man and animals even though 
there were some problems in the food chain. 17 

Three years after the State bill was passed, the federal govern- 
ment passed a restricted pesticide law which was modeled to 
some extent after the New York law. 18 

Barton was also active in regional research affairs regarding 
research projects funded by state or federal Hatch funds. At that 
time, Geneva was involved in about 10 Hatch projects. In collabo- 
ration with Director Kennedy and later Director Nyle Brady, they 

— 138 — 

worked with other directors in the region to make plans to 
coordinate the state-funded research of the involved regional 
stations. Meetings were held and informal agreements reached on 
how to divide the research. In practice, the concept failed because 
there was no control of funding across state lines. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reorganized its research 
activities into regions in the early 1970s. They were under the 
direction of the Beltsville Station. Each region coincided with the 
four State regions, and each had an administrator. Meetings 
between the state and federal administrators evolved into re- 
gional Research Planning Committees, (R.P.C.s). Director Barton 
was elected as the co-chair of the Northeast R.P.C. Task Forces 
established for fruits, vegetables, corn, dairy, and environmental 
quality. They met annually to discuss the total programs and 
prepare reports defining research priorities for the Northeast and 
where there were gaps that needed attention. This effort provided 
some useful information, but only recommended allocations for 
additional funds rather than ways to reallocate existing funds. 
This effort, like the previous state-level project, had limited 
value. 19 

Director Barton had assumed a leadership role in the Northeast- 
ern Region affairs, which ensured that the Geneva Station and 
Cornell University were well represented. 

Barton made a quick assessment of the primary tasks facing 
Director Heinicke's successor during the week he pondered 
whether or not to accept the directorship. He determined that the 
key problems were: internal administrative procedures and 
faculty relations, Ithaca-Geneva relations, and facilities develop- 
ment. Once he made the decision to accept, he spent two weeks 
with Heinicke learning management procedures and planning 
needed changes. Heinicke gave special admonition that Cornell 
should be recognized in any favorable publicity for the Station to 
escape the wrath of President Deane Mallott. Heinicke had been 
admonished more than once for breech of this requirement. 20 

Director Barton decentralized power immediately by giving 
department heads responsibility for managing department 
finances and personnel matters. He interfered only when prob- 
lems arose. He did away with paper charges for services ren- 
dered to departments by service units, which were funded by 
state or federal money. 21 His relations with professional and non- 
professional staff had none of the confrontational manner of his 
predecessor. Director Barton encouraged the Geneva faculty 


members to organize and form committees to address their 
problems and concerns such as salary inequities between Geneva 
and Ithaca. Also, some faculty members had some concerns at 
that time that Station responsibilities would be moved to Ithaca. 
Some faculty felt isolated, and there was the problem of poor 
communications with Extension located at Ithaca. Within six 
months, the staff had a functional organization with by-laws and 
committees. Director Barton gave it a participatory role in run- 
ning the Station. He encouraged faculty to attend Ithaca faculty 
meetings. The perceived problem of limiting Geneva faculty to 
co-chairing graduate student committees was studied and deter- 
mined to be the most satisfactory arrangement after joint meet- 
ings and consultations with the dean of the Graduate Faculty. 
Ithaca co-chairs could attend to matters pertaining to course and 
other requirements, and the Geneva co-chair could concentrate 
on the thesis research. Geneva faculty interest waned after these 
concerns were addressed. 22 

Director Barton's third challenge, to develop Station facilities, 
required considerable time; in fact, about 11 years. He took office 
when there were many needs and no clear solutions. The food 
scientists left Sturtevant Hall, which had been allowed to run 
down internally in a cluttered "mess" because they had moved 
into a fully equipped new building and left much behind. Ento- 
mology still occupied Parrott Hall, the original farm house which 
was inadequate for the expanding staff and new technologies. All 
the other departments were crowded into Hedrick Hall. A survey 
study determined that Seeds Investigations and the Plant Intro- 
duction group could effectively use the space in Sturtevant Hall 
and that funds were needed for its rehabilitation. Director Barton 
requested funds from the State University Construction Fund. At 
that time, Geneva Station Directors were involved in any discus- 
sions in Albany that dealt with Station budget matters. Fortu- 
itously, this request was made at a time when the New York State 
University was embarking on a major construction program to 
develop many campuses around the state, and the door was open 
for the Station to prepare and submit a development plan. Direc- 
tor Barton immediately put in motion the required activities to 
take advantage of this opportunity, and plans for the renovation 
of Sturtevant Hall were developed and submitted. 23 

The task of developing a master plan was complicated by the 
limited space available to accommodate programs during renova- 
tions. This required careful sequencing of rehabilitation and 
construction. B. E. Clark was appointed Assistant Director of the 
Station on October 16, 1968. 24 His primary responsibilities were to 


Barton Laboratory, constructed in 
1968, had extensive new green- 
houses for use by plant patholo- 
gists and entomologists. 

work with the State University of New York and architects work- 
ing on the Station master plan. Earlier, he had worked closely 
with entomologist E. H. Smith to renovate the then unused third 
floor of Sturtevant Hall to accommodate new chemically oriented 
research programs in the Entomology Department. Paul Lippold 
was the first to use these facilities followed, in 1965, by Wendell 
Roelofs who carried out his pheromone research there until the 
completion of Barton Laboratory in 1968. The final plan called for 
the following sequence of projects: rehabilitation of Sturtevant 
Hall, construction of the entomology-plant pathology facility 
(Barton Laboratory), renovation of Hedrick Hall, construction of a 
new raw products building, construction of a facility for the 
Buildings and Properties unit, construction of raw products and 
farm services buildings (two buildings but one project), construc- 
tion of a campus warehouse and an agricultural chemicals build- 
ing and, finally a plant nursery building. All projects were put 
into a schedule and, except the campus warehouse and the agri- 
cultural chemical and nursery building, were completed by the 
end of 1971. According to Barton, "that's when the budget roof fell 
in." 25 Thus, 1960 to 1971 was a period of major building construc- 
tion and renovation at the Geneva Station. 

In addition to careful sequencing, it was also necessary to antici- 
pate future developments in the various sciences in order to keep 
abreast of scientific advances and the new positions that were to 
be made available as part of the master plan. Director Barton 
appointed a committee for each renovation and construction 
project. Considerable thought had been given earlier to future 
needs by the entomologists and plant pathologists because of 
prior expectations of a new facility for these departments. Drs. P. 
J. Chapman and A. C. Davis in Entomology and William 
Schroeder in Plant Pathology had been active in projecting for 
future needs. 

Completely new program plans for the Departments of Plant 
Pathology and Entomology were made in preparation for design- 

— 141- 

ing the new facility. It was at this point that Barton accepted P. J. 
Chapman's suggestion that A. C. Davis represent the Station in 
planning and building the new entomology-plant pathology 
building. This proved to be a brilliant decision. Barton recorded 
later that: "A. C. Davis ... had a tremendous aptitude in working 
on programs. As was subsequently shown, his aptitude is still 
(1983) serving the College as he works on Academic I and II 
buildings on Campus (Ithaca)." 26 The Director gave Davis heavy 
responsibilities and supported him in dealing with the architects 
and Construction Fund. A chronological account of new build- 
ings and other physical improvements made during the Barton 
administration follow. 

The rapid expansion of Station physical facilities that began 
during the Heinicke administration continued and even in- 
creased during the first 10 of the Barton years. This was due in 
large part to the impetus and financial largesse of the State 
University of New York expansion program. Interestingly, the 
Station at Geneva benefited much more than the Ithaca Station 
and University. Director Barton suggests that the latter were slow 
in getting in line. 27 It also can be attributed to the fact that the 
State and Cornell University were already committed to estab- 
lishing the Station as a horticultural research unit with strong 
research programs in the undergirding sciences. The new Food 
Research Laboratory had just been completed, and plans were 
being formulated for other new construction. 

In 1962, the Station received a special appropriation to convert 
the heating plant from coal to gas or oil. Major repairs were 
needed on the coal furnaces, and neighborhood residents, includ- 
ing occupants of the nearby Food Research Laboratory, were 
complaining about the black soot belching from the chimney. The 
conversion to gas with an oil backup system was completed by 
1964. 28 

With the completion and occupancy of the Food Research Labo- 
ratory and the installation of $473,000 worth of new equipment, 
the department of Food Science and Technology was "proceeding 
with new impetus and vigor." 29 The old Chemistry building was 
torn down in 1960. Sturtevant Hall (Dairy Building), which had 
housed the Departments of Horticulture, Dairy, Bacteriology, and 
recently, the Department of Food Science and Technology, was 
nearly vacant. Plans were being made to renovate the structure 
for use by the Department of Seed Investigations with space 
reserved for the Regional Plant Introduction Station, which was 
closely associated with the work of Seeds Investigation. The third 


Newly remodeled Fredonia sub- 
station was dedicated by Dean 
Palm in September, 1961, and 
later named in honor ofE. 
Frederick Taschenberg. 

(top) floor was to be renovated for the temporary use for insect 
toxicology studies. 303 ' At a cost of nearly $500,000, Sturtevant 
Hall was converted "into the most modern and fully equipped 
facility for seed testing and research to be found anywhere in the 
United States." 32 Included in the December 1964 dedication 
ceremonies was a special symposium entitled "Scientific Seed 
Improvement. " 

The Station also made improvements in buildings and facilities at 
its sub-stations in Fredonia and the Hudson Valley during Direc- 
tor Barton's administration. The Fredonia sub-station for grape 
research had been on rented land. Following purchase of this 
land in 1957, plans were made to remodel the storage building 
into offices, laboratory, and storage facilities. In September 1961, 
there was a dedication and open house attended by 129 inter- 
ested growers and processors. Dean Palm gave a dedication 
speech followed by a tour of the renovated facilities and research 
plots. 33 

In February 1962, the Hudson Valley Fruit Investigations Labora- 
tory was destroyed by fire. This Laboratory was owned by the 
Hudson Valley Fruit Growers' Cooperative and leased by the 
Station. The four scientists stationed there provided information 
especially adapted for the Hudson Valley fruit and vegetable 
industries. 34 At this time, the Hudson Valley staff members were 
not on good terms with each other and were not cooperating in 
providing information for their needs in the new replacement 
laboratory. P. J. Chapman convinced Barton to send Davis to 
work with the scientists and the architect. "This was as difficult a 

-143 — 

New Hudson Valley Laboratory 
building dedicated July 29, 1964. 

job as I ever had." 35 Davis worked out an agreement that he 
would be in charge of planning and R. Dean would oversee 
construction. A new laboratory was built by the Hudson Valley 
Agricultural Research Cooperative, formerly the Hudson Valley 
Horticultural Research Cooperative, on a new site in Highland 
purchased by Cornell University in 1963. It was dedicated July 
29, 1964. 36 The Hudson Valley fruit and vegetable growers had 
been the force to establish the original sub-station in the Valley 
and were very supportive, even to the extent of contributing 
financial support for this new facility. 

The major construction project during Director Barton's adminis- 
tration was the new entomology-plant pathology facility. As 
reported in the previous chapter, a building was conceived in the 
early post WW II years, but it was not built at that time because 
of the Korean conflict. It was re-conceived after that war and 
finally completed in late 1968. It had a long, arduous, and some- 
times difficult gestation period. Some of the details follow. 

After the decision was made to abandon the plans prepared by 
architect Thomas White (displayed by Chapman and Carruth to 
Glass in 1948 and Davis in 1950, see Heinicke chapter), efforts 
were continued to design the new facility separate from the Food 
Research Laboratory building. P. J. Chapman, then head of the 
Department of Entomology, asked A. C. Davis, a vegetable 
entomologist in the department, to represent entomology in this 
new endeavor. Department head of Plant Pathology, James 
Hamilton, represented his department. Progress was slow 
during the remainder of Director Heinicke's administration as he 
continued his customary approach of questioning each and 
every. Further, the plant pathologists did not give the project a 
high priority at that time. 37 


In 1964, when the entomology-plant pathology project was 
transferred to the State University of New York Construction 
Fund, Barton was director and it became evident that the build- 
ing would actually be constructed. The Director approved 
Chapman's suggestion that Davis, working with Plant Patholo- 
gist Robert Gilmer, represent both departments and the Station in 
negotiations with the architects and the Construction fund. This 
proved to be an exceptionally wise move. Drs. Gilmer and Davis 
had the scientific background to understand the current and 
predicted future needs of the departments and effectively trans- 
late these to the architects and fund personnel. 38 Davis was far- 
sighted enough to insist on building in storage and other convert- 
ible spaces for future expansions. Davis also performed the same 
duties in planning the Food Science and Technology pilot plant in 
Ithaca. He proved to be so effective in handling these assign- 
ments that he was asked later by Dean Call to perform similar 
roles for the new entomology and administrative buildings for 
the College of Agriculture on the Ithaca campus. It is important to 
note here that Director Barton recognized Davis's abilities and 
supported him. Chapman, with inputs from his staff, prepared a 
plan for the future of his department. R. Gilmer did likewise for 
his department. The entire effort was an example of what can be 
accomplished with imaginative teamwork. Further details of 
these plans are found in the department chapters. 

In 1964, the State University Construction Fund received an 
appropriation of $3 million for construction of a new entomol- 
ogy-plant pathology building at the Geneva Station. Architectural 
planning was under way and was "slowly moving ahead." 
Occupancy was projected by July 1967. 39 The 1965 Station Annual 
Report noted that plans for the building were moving ahead 
nearly on schedule and occupancy was scheduled for "sometime 
in 1968. " 40 Construction began in 1967 and was essentially com- 
plete in December 1968. The junior author, then Department 
Head of Entomology, and the Department of Entomology head 
secretary, Dorothy Lynch, moved into their new offices on Janu- 
ary 2, 1969. 

The new facility included a single story administrative wing and 
a six-story research tower with laboratories and offices, plus a 
basement with facilities for research and storage. The laboratories 
were equipped with the latest instrumentation. The building 
encompassed 80,000 square feet of space with an adjoining 
greenhouse area of 20,000 square feet. At the time of completion, 
it was considered to be the most up-to-date facility of its kind and 
was copied, in part, by others. Appropriately, it was named 


"Barton Laboratory" at the time of Director Barton's retirement in 

Two much needed buildings were constructed under the author- 
ity of the State University Construction Fund soon after the 
completion of Barton Laboratory. For years the carpenters, me- 
chanics, and other service units had been located in old barns and 
other outdated wooden structures. A similar problem existed for 
storing, ripening, grading, and preparing fruits and vegetables 
for canning and freezing experiments in the Station's pilot plant. 
The new one-story Raw Products and General Services buildings 
were completed in 1969. With the completion of these structures 
and the renovations of Hedrick and Sturtevant Halls, the Station 
had excellent facilities to conduct its laboratory and greenhouse 
research programs. It also had adequate land available for field 

Director Heinicke was proud to turn $100,000 in income funds 
over to incoming Director Barton. 41 The record shows that the 
latter wasted no time in using these and other funds, which he 
managed to accumulate, to acquire additional land and storage 
barns as shown in the following table. 


1962 Pomology Pole Barn 

1962 Robbins Farm Pole Barn 

1963 Vegetable Research Farm, 108 acres 
Highland Research Farm, 19.0 acres 

1964 Vegetable Farm Pole Barn 

1967 USDA Entomology Research Building 

1967 Lucey Farm, 33 acres 

1967 Wellington property, 3.5 acres 

1969 Smith Farm Pole Barn 

1970 Soil Storage Facility 

1971 Power Station 

Charles Sayre had been critical of Director Heinicke for buying 
properties and assigning it for pomological and viticultural 
research rather than for vegetables. Director Barton balanced the 
account with the 108-acre vegetable research farm. By the 1970s, 
the Station had adequate farm land (670 acres in and near 
Geneva, 19.5 acres at Highland and 30 acres at Fredonia) and 
farm facilities to meet the needs of the Station's field research 


" / I iheory and practice 

JL must march together. 
The central theme of the 
Experiment Station always 
has been that it do basic 
research and put it to work 
for society. The Station 
serves society by solving 
problems with plant pro- 
duction, whether in farm- 
ers' fields, parks, or 
people's gardens. Society as 
a whole pays for it because, 
without agriculture, society 
would fall to pieces. " 

programs. Like his predecessor, Director Barton was very suc- 
cessful in managing income funds to acquire land and farm 
facilities needed to conduct field research. 

It is obvious from the activities reported above that a significant 
portion of Director Barton's efforts and time during the first 10 
years in office were involved in improving the physical facilities 
of the Station. This enabled its research programs to keep pace 
with the many advances being made in the basic sciences. During 
the latter half of his administration, he devoted more emphasis to 
research programs, and he was more involved in Ithaca affairs 
and regional and national committees. 

A review of Director Barton's 20 annual reports reflects this 
change. The procedure for preparing these reports at that time 
was to ask each department to prepare a review of activities and 
contributions for the year. Editor Roscoe E. Krauss assembled 
these plus the financial and personnel statistics. The lead-off 
section was a report from the Director, written by him or drafted 
by Krauss with careful editing and approval of the Director. 
Thus, each annual report reflected the Director's thinking at that 
date. In the 93rd Annual Report in 1974, Director Barton gave a 
brief history of the role and contributions of the state and na- 
tional agricultural experiment stations in bringing about the great 
increases in food production and processing, which enabled three 
per cent of the population to feed all our citizens plus an impres- 
sive amount of exports to foreign countries. In 1870, before the 
experiment stations were established, eight out of every 10 
persons were required to produce food and fiber products to 
clothe and feed our citizens. 42 

The following comments from Director Barton's 96th Annual 
Report provide an insight into his basic philosophy and pride in 
the nature and accomplishments of the Geneva Station: "...Agri- 
cultural research is a fascinating field and is most rewarding to 
the scientists involved in the many projects of the New York State 
Agricultural Experiment Station. As an Experiment Station 
designed specifically to serve the people of this state, much of our 
work revolves around solving problems of immediate concern to 
growers and processors in the very large and economically 
important fruit and vegetable processing industry. Yet at the same 
time, we must balance this type of practical research with more 
basic studies to provide us with adequate background knowledge 
in a multiplicity of subjects so that we are prepared to solve 
future problems. It is because the Experiment Station at Geneva 
stresses the desirability of these two types of research approaches 

— -147—- 

Charles Eckenrode explaining to 
Cornell University President 
Frank Rhodes how certain insects 
can locate seeds below the soil 
surface prior to emergence. 

that we have been able to build such a strong reputation 
through the years in both the scientific community and with our 
growers and processors." 43 Director Barton always recognized 
that industry played an important role in the agricultural revo- 

The above quotation describes the same research philosophy 
that James Horsfall expressed for the "first station" in the 
United States, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 
in New Haven: "Theory and practice must march together. The 
central theme of the Experiment Station always has been that it 
do basic research and put it to work for society. The Station 
serves society by solving problems with plant production, 
whether in farmers' fields, parks, or people's gardens. Society as 
a whole pays for it because, without agriculture, society would 
fall to pieces." 44 No doubt Horsfall may have developed this 
philosophy when he was a member of the Geneva Station staff 
from 1929 to 1939 before moving to Connecticut. 

Barton illustrated the wisdom of "theory and practice marching 
together" with the example of chemist Wendell Roelofs' pio- 
neering studies on insect communication systems. These re- 
sulted in a non-pesticidal control of an important grape insect 
pest and greatly improved pest monitoring capabilities of 
several important crop pests. Roelofs' basic research gained 
world-wide recognition in the scientific community, including 
election to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and 
the receipt of several important awards. Further information on 
these and other contributions are found in the Department 

Another example cited by Barton was the cooperative efforts 
between Drs. Gary Harman and Charles Eckenrode in Seed and 
Vegetable Sciences and Entomology departments respectively. 
They showed that the seed corn maggot adult is attracted and 
stimulated to lay eggs on the soil above and near the seeds by 
the emissions from certain microbes growing on nutrients that 
leak out of the seeds during the process of germination. If 
microbial growth is controlled, the adult maggots cannot locate 
the seed. An outgrowth of the study to find a non-chemical 
means of eliminating the attractant was the discovery of a 
fungus, Tricoderma, that competitively colonizes seed coats and 
also protects seeds against soil-borne pathogenic fungi. As of 
1995, a company has been established and is producing and 
selling this organism for control of a number of soil-borne plant 
pathogens of vegetables and turf. It was also during Barton's 

— 148— 


■ ''Hf "^*f >• 

Professor James D. Luckett 

administration that a new specialty, seed physiology, was added 
to the Seeds Department with the addition of Anwar Kahn to 
the staff. 

Barton also had a profound effect on publishing and communica- 
tion policies and procedures at the Station. Professor James D. 
Luckett retired July 1, 1960, the same day that Director Heinicke 
resigned the directorship and retired. Luckett had been given the 
title of Professor and Professor emeritus in recognition of his 
many contributions to the Station and Cornell University and his 
prestige among farmers and publishers. He had served under six 
directors beginning with Jordan in 1920. Director Barton delayed 
filling this position for nearly two years. He finally chose Roscoe 
E. ('Pat') Krauss as Editor, Research Information Specialist, and 
later as Head of a new Publications Department in 1962. 

Krauss was very familiar with a station comparable in many 
ways to the Geneva Station. Prior to coming to Geneva, Krauss 
was a technical editor and Executive Secretary of the National 
Academy of Sciences — National Research Council Agricultural 
Board. He was also Executive Director of the Agricultural Re- 
search Institute. He had had contact with Professor Luckett, who 
suggested that Krauss might be interested in the Geneva position. 
In 1961, Director Barton attended the annual meeting of the 
Agricultural Research Institute in Washington, met with Krauss, 
and invited him to Geneva for an interview. Later, Director 
Barton offered him the position as Director of Publicatons and 
Public Information for the Geneva Station. 45 

The appointment of "Pat" Krauss proved to be an exceptionally 
wise choice at a time when major changes were occurring in the 
printing and communication fields. Krauss had an excellent 
background for the task of adapting new technologies to the 
Station printing and communication needs. Further, he found 
that Director Barton readily supported new sound, innovative 
publishing, and communication systems. 

Luckett had been responsible for the Station library. Krauss was 
not trained as a librarian and convinced the Director to give that 
responsibility to someone else. After a review of the publication 
situation at Geneva and the very limited budget, he recom- 
mended that a printing capability should be established on 
campus to better serve the Station's publishing needs with less 
money. Director Barton established a study committee and asked 
for technical help from Ithaca. The latter concluded that the 
Station should have had such a capability for many years and 

— 149 — 

Pat Krauss, Director of Publica- 
tions, discussing the Station's 
collaborative role in producing 
quality New York wines with 
State Senator Fred Warder. 

should establish its own in-house print shop. In 1965, approval 
was granted by the Dean and Directors to purchase a printing 
press. Barton made an agreement with Krauss that he would buy- 
additional items if Krauss could demonstrate that he could pay 
back the money with the savings generated by the new equip- 
ment. Krauss used this arrangement to establish a first class 
printing facility which won several awards and was copied by 
other institutions. Director Barton also approved a graphic arts 
facility for design and layout. The benefits were: (1) tripled the 
number of major publications, (2) reduced the length of time for 
publication from three or more months to two to three weeks, 
and (3) provided enough savings to pay for all the equipment. 46 

Krauss provides the following about Barton's contribution to the 
Station's communications capabilities: "Director Barton was 
receptive to other new developments which had possibilities for 
improving the Station's productiveness. In 1968, Professor John 
Bourke showed Director Barton how he was able to use a com- 
puter to great advantage in analyzing data in the pesticide resi- 
due laboratories. The Director responded by appointing a nine- 
member faculty committee to investigate and provide recommen- 
dations for the future development of computer facilities at the 
Station. At that time, the only available computer was located at 
Cornell in Ithaca. Attempts to connect by telephone proved 
unsatisfactory due to problems of telephone transmission and 
computer software. In 1970, a surplus IBM 1800 mini-computer 

150 — 

(left to right): P. Carp, President of 
Widmer Wine Cellars; John 
Einset, Head, Pomology Depart- 
ment; Mary Ann Krupsak, Lt. 
Governor of New York State; Don 
Barton, Director of the Experi- 
ment Station; and Earnest Reveal, 
CEO ofR.T. French Co. (former 
President ofWidmer's). 

was purchased from the Cornell Veterinary College, and John 
Barnard was hired in 1973 as Director of the Computer Center. 
Thereafter, rapid development of computing occurred leading to 
purchase of a Prime 300 mini-computer in 1978, wiring of the 
campus for time-sharing terminals, and upgrades to a Prime 400 
(1979) and two Prime 400s in 1982. These advances were followed 
by further upgrades including statistical packages, word process- 
ing and accounting software. Geneva started involvement with 
personal computing in 1984 with the purchase of the first of 
many Apple Macintosh computers. The Station was connected to 
the Internet in 1989. Thus, Director Barton's early support of 
computer technology at Geneva enabled the Station to keep 
abreast of and be a leader in the use of this new technology. " 

Director Barton listened to department chairmen and others with 
an open-minded, objective and pragmatic attitude. As reported 
earlier, he pushed for a limited extension presence at Geneva 
wherever it was logical and would eliminate potential friction. 
He promoted the concept of Geneva faculty teaching at Ithaca 
only when there was a definite need because of the inefficiency of 
the time involved in travel. He favored adding disciplines such as 
chemistry to departments when it could be shown that they were 
needed to pursue new potentially productive lines of investiga- 
tions. He could and did say "No" when he thought it necessary. 
He was the first Station Director since Thatcher who did not have 
preconceived ideas and prejudices for or against either the 
Geneva Station or Cornell University. He was also Director when 


Aerial photograph of the New York 
State Agricultural Experiment 
Station, 1982. 

Charles Palm and Keith Kennedy were deans and /or directors. 
Kennedy and Barton had a "symbiotic relationship." 47 On the 
other hand, Dean Call's modus operandi proved to be unaccept- 
able to Director Barton and led in part to his decision to retire in 
1982. There were other considerations leading to this decision. 
Over the years with more and more restricted State budgets, the 
Geneva director had become further and further removed from 
the fiscal decision-making process. It had changed from being 
able to present the Station's rationale and needs in Albany to 
being limited to filing budget requests through Cornell Univer- 
sity. Barton stated that this change probably would not have been 
a major factor for a director appointed less than five years previ- 
ously 48 

In 1979, the International Rice Research Institute invited Director 
Barton to come to the Philippines for the calendar year 1980 as 
Visiting Director of Research. Cornell granted an administrative 
leave, and Alexander C. Davis was appointed Acting Director at 
Geneva. After Director Barton's return in 1981, he developed 
stress-related health problems. He resigned the directorship on 
June 30, 1982, and retired on May 30, 1983. Davis served as acting 
Director again in 1982-1983. 

The period from 1960 to 1982, Director Barton's years as director 
of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, deserve 
the description "the golden years." During this period, Hedrick 
and Sturtevant Halls were completely renovated; the Food 
Research Laboratory was dedicated; Barton Laboratory, including 
a new greenhouse range, was completed; and the Raw Products 

152 — 

Facility and a Farm Services Building were designed and con- 
structed. Also, a Campus Warehouse was on the drawing board 
awaiting an appropriation before construction a few years later in 
1977. During this same period, faculty increased in number from 
56 to 65. There was also a significant increase in the number of 
research associates and technicians. Director Barton declines to 
take much credit for the above, and attributes much of this 
growth to the State University of New York and the University 
Construction Fund. 49 The record, however, demonstrates that 
Director Barton was responsible for initiating the new building 
program when he requested funding for the renovation of 
Sturtevant Hall. This led to the campus-wide plan, which was 
fully executed. In 1982, the New York State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station had the modern, well-equipped facilities and land 
needed to pursue all facets of its mission. 

Director Barton is also credited for recognizing and supporting 
the need to incorporate in the new facilities space and equipment 
required to conduct investigations in new areas of developing 
sciences. Some of these were electron microscopy for basic stud- 
ies in plant pathology, chemical studies on insect pheromones, 
plant substances toxic to insects, insect toxicology, physiology of 
seeds, and plant biochemistry. A number of direct benefits have 
developed from these new endeavors. They also provided the 
foundation for the pioneering research carried out later on ge- 
netic transformation of plants using molecular genetics and 
biotechnology. This research led to controls for several important 
plant diseases. Further, John Sanford, Department of Pomology 
and Viticulture, in cooperation with engineers in Ithaca, devel- 
oped and patented the "gene gun," which is now (1999) widely 
used in public and private research and production to insert 
genes from one organism into another to provide resistance to 
pests and to increase productivity. 

It was during Director Barton's administration that the Geneva 
Station truly became a functioning unit of the College of Agricul- 
ture and Life Sciences. For the first time, the top administrators 
were free of bias baggage carried by earlier administrators. 
Heinicke believed all extension had to be in Ithaca, that all chem- 
istry should be in Food Science and Technology and supported 
Hand's stand that all chemists in his department must work on 
food science. Director Parrott worked hard to erase some of the 
problems between Director Hedrick and Dean Ladd, but Ladd 
was slow to completely trust him. Dean Myers seems to have had 
a good approach to Geneva, but Heinicke failed to take advan- 
tage of this opportunity. Director Barton was brought up and 



educated in California and had only 10 years at Geneva as a 
junior scientist before assuming the Directorship. Director and 
then Dean Palm had done his Ph.D. thesis research at Geneva and 
was co-author with George Hervey on two journal papers. His 
undergraduate studies were in Arkansas. Thus, he was familiar 
with the Station and a number of the staff as well as with the 
Ithaca campus. Research Director Keith Kennedy and Barton 
developed an excellent working relationship as noted earlier. 
Rather than keeping the Station at arm's length, Director 
Kennedy and Dean Palm appointed Barton to Assistant and later 
Associate Director of Research of the College of Agriculture, thus 
making Barton a member of the College of Agriculture's adminis- 
trative team. It also reflected their recognition of Director Barton's 

Relations between the last four Station directors and Cornell 
administrators can be succinctly summarized as follows: 
Hedrick — antagonistic, Parrott — cooperative, Heinicke — obedi- 
ent, and Barton — participative. 

Barton was a very successful director of the New York State 
Agricultural Experiment Station. While it is impossible to pre- 
cisely judge which one of the first nine Station directors was the 
most successful or contributed the most, it is obvious that Direc- 
tor Barton was instrumental in bringing the Station to its peak in 
terms of its physical facilities; the quality, quantity and esprit de 
corps of its professional and non-professional staffs; its partner- 
ship with Cornell University; its respect by the farming commu- 
nity and agribusiness; and its prestige in the scientific commu- 
nity. Naming the new plant pathology-entomology building 
Barton Laboratory was very appropriate recognition of his many 


1 Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 1-2. 

2 Barton Oral History, 1983, p. 2. 

3 Barton Oral History, 1983, p. 3. 

4 Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 3-5. 

5 Letter, Barton to Sayre, April 13, 1959. 

6 Letter, Palm to Meyers March 19, 1959. 

7 Chapman Oral History, 1965, pp. 183-186. 

8 Barton Oral History, 1983, p. 48. 

9 Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 49-50. 

10 Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 55-56. 

11 Barton, personal communication, 1995. 

12 Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 92-96. 

13 Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 104-105. 

14 Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 105-108. 


Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 109-111. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, p. 108. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 126-127. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, p. 4. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, p. 5 

Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 19-21. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 8-11. 

NYSAES, 69th. Ann. Rpt. 1969, p. 72. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, p. 9. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, p.8. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 10-11. 

NYSAES, 100th. Ann. Rpt. 1981, p. 1, and 102nd Ann. Rpt. 1983: p. 2. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1961., p. 1. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1964, p. 1. 

E. H. Smith prevailed on B. E Clark, then head of the Department of Seed 

Investigations to assign this space for the use of entomologists to replace the 

cramped units under the porches of Parrott Hall. A. C. Davis was asked to 

assist in the redesign of the third floor. Smith resigned July 1964 to accept the 

headship of Entomology as NC State University. Davis worked with P. 

Lippold and the newly arrived W. L. Roelofs in planning the renovation. 

This was a New York Public Works Project. (Personal communication, A. C. 

Davis, December 19, 1995.) 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1965, p. 1. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1962, p. 1. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1962, p. 1-2. 

Davis, personal communication, 12/19/95. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1964, p. 1. 

Davis, personal communication, 9/1/95. 

There was some disagreement between them about Plant Pathology's 

insistence on greenhouses at the expense of laboratory space. (See chapter 


Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1964, p. 2. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1965, p. 3. 

Heinicke Oral History, 1963, p. 182. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1974, pp. 1-2. 

Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1977, pp. 1. 

Horsfall, James G. 1992. The Pioneer Experiment Station, 1875-1975, A 

History. Antoca Press, Lexington, KY. 122 pp. 

Krauss Oral History, 1984, pp. 1-3. 

Krauss, personal communication, 9/15/95. 

Krauss, personal communication, 9/15/95. 

Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 149-152. 

Barton, personal communication, July 1995. 

— 155- 

Organization of 

As reported in Chapters II and III, research was con- 
ducted in several scientific fields during the Sturtevant 
and Collier administrations, even though the staff 
training was limited to medicine, horticulture, botany, and chem- 
istry. The first entomologists were appointed in 1895, and the first 
plant pathologist in 1898. Prior to these appointments, research 
on disease and insect problems was conducted by the horticultur- 
ists and botanists. It may be interesting to modern researchers 
that the rather detailed annual reports during the Sturtevant and 
Collier years were divided according to staff members rather 
than by discipline. As late as 1940, a few horticulturists continued 
to include crop protection as part of their duties at stations with 
limited personnel. This was not the case at Geneva. 

It was during Jordan's administration that formal recognition 
was given to disciplines. In his annual report for the year 1897, 
research findings were reported under five headings: chemistry, 
horticulture, vegetable pathology, entomology, and animal 
husbandry. 1 In his 1916 report, he used the term Division. By 
1921, in his last annual report, he had established six divisions: 
bacteriology, botany, chemistry, dairying, entomology, and horti- 
culture. 2 The term Division was replaced by Department in 1954 
during Director Heinicke's administration to conform to Cornell's 
terminology. From time to time, Divisions /Departments were 
added, dropped, combined according to new developments and 
changes in the research programs and, in the case of all animal 
investigations (Dairying), when the program was moved to 
Ithaca in 1942. 

The changes in the organization of Station's research activities 
over the first 100 years of the Station are shown in Figure I. 3 We 
have elected to use the Station's departmental nomenclature in 
effect in 1982 at the end of Director Barton's tenure for the pur- 
pose of reporting the research activities and contributions of the 


~. ... Sturtevent 







Morrison Hedrick Parrott 
1927-1928 1929-1937 1938-1942 

Heinicke Barton 
1942-1960 1960-1982 








Food Science & Technology 


4 To Ithaca 

Animal Husbandry(Poultry) 

4 To Ithaca 



To Ithaca 

Botany (Plant Pathology) 


Plant Pathology 





Pomology & Viticulture 




Vegetable Crops 

Seed & Vegetable Sciences 

Integrated Pest Management 

Number of 

Number Faculty 5 




8 8 8 
43 53 59 

6 5 
56 67 


1. Merged with Chemistry to form new Food Science and Technology Department 

2. Merged with Chemistry 

3. Merged with newly established Food Science and technology Department 

4. Responsibility transferred to Ithaca 

5. Responsiblity and Dr. Dahlberg transferred to Ithaca 

6. Plant pathology united into one department 

7. Canning Crops recognized as a separate department 

8. Recognition of viticulture research 

9. Recognition of increasing importance of viticulture 

10. Seed testing and seed research established as a new department 

'Divisions were changed to/became Departments in 1954 

Organization of Station research by divisions/departments. 

Geneva Station to agriculture and science. These were: Entomol- 
ogy, Food Science and Technology, Plant Pathology, Pomology 
and Viticulture, and Seed and Vegetable Sciences. However, 
because much of the early work of the bacteriology and chemis- 
try divisions was not related to food science and was not contin- 
ued after their merger into Food Science and Technology, sepa- 
rate bacteriology and chemistry chapters are included to report 
the pre-1945 activities in these disciplines. We have included also 

— 157 — 

a chapter on Dairying because of its prominence and the major 
contributions made before this responsibility was moved to 
Ithaca in 1942. And, finally, there is a short account of the back- 
ground and formation of the IPM Support Group established in 

It should be noted that Computer Services and Library and 
Publications made important contributions to the Station's 
research efforts, even though these are not identified separately 
in this history. 

It has not been possible to include all activities and accomplish- 
ments in each of the research units. We have tried to highlight the 
more significant and interesting developments. This should not 
be interpreted that those omitted works were not important. This 
point is best made by quoting from Director Hedrick's comments 
about Lucius L. Van Slyke's 38 years of service when the latter 
retired in 1929. In addition to commenting about Van Slyke's very 
considerable contributions to the chemistry of dairy products, 
Director Hedrick wrote the following: "Van Slyke should be 
remembered by the farmers of New York State also for his organi- 
zation and supervision of the chemical inspection of commercial 
fertilizers and feed stuffs. This was one of his first tasks upon 
taking charge of the Chemical Division at this Station, and so well 
was the work planned in this important field that the organiza- 
tion and the methods Van Slyke employed became at once mod- 
els for similar work in other institutions, few of which had then 
undertaken this work. Perhaps it is not too much to say that at a 
time when research in agriculture received scant support from 
farmers in this State, Van Slyke's work in the inspection of com- 
mercial fertilizers and feeding stuffs, better than any other effort 
of the Station, brought this institution to the notice of New York 
farmers and won their hearty support." 4 

Similar direct and indirect benefits to farmers and the public were 
derived from the Station's seed inspection and pesticide analy- 
sis/evaluation programs as related in several chapters. 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. for 1897, pp. 13-22. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. for 1920, pp. 9-22. 

3 Figure 1 Organization of Station Research by Divisions/Departments. 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1929, pp. 14-15. 

— 158- 


The lack of an entomologist on the Station staff in the late 
1800s was no indication that New York farmers were not 
plagued by injurious insects and other arthropods as we 
have noted in Chapter II. There were few economic entomologists 
and few reliable methods of crop protection during that period. 
Producers and consumers (mostly the same persons) had learned 
to cope with pest damage and losses. With the advent of early 
insecticides, such as calcium and lead arsenates and primitive 
sprayers, farmers finally were able to protect their crops against 
the ravages of a few of the most destructive pests, such as the 
Colorado potato beetle on potato and the codling moth on apples. 

The Division's /Department's development, programs, and 
support were shaped in large measure by a convergence of events 
during the first six decades of the 20th century. Most important 
was the succession of introduced pests: San Jose scale (about 
1900), Oriental fruit moth (1915), Japanese beetle (1916), European 
corn borer (1917), and European chafer (1942). The ravages of 
these, plus some important native pest species created a demand 
by farmers and home owners for information on control mea- 
sures, which, in turn, resulted in special appropriations from 
Albany to enable appropriate research to find solutions. A second 
development was the evolution from small to larger farms con- 
centrating on fewer crops. The trend towards processed foods led 
to a demand for insect-free fruits and vegetables. Also, resistance 
to pesticides (San Jose scale to lime sulfur, codling moth to lead 
arsenate, and later many insect and mites to most of the new 
organic pesticides) resulted in demands for alternative controls 
and, in the case of codling moth, increased applications of insecti- 
cides and problems with pesticide residues. 

The limited entomological research conducted by horticulturist E. 
S. Goff in 1882 and succeeding years, which proved the efficacy of 
Paris Green for the control of the codling moth on apple, has been 
noted in Chapter II. He conducted tests against pests on other 
crops in later years. In 1888, he evaluated the then available 
insecticides for control of current worms and cabbage maggots. 

159 — - 

Steam powered high platform 
sprayer used in earlier years to 
spray the then very tall apple 

He evaluated "hose" nozzles and kerosene. The latter was 
phytotoxic on all crops tested. 1 Of interest as an indication of 
the state of knowledge at that time were the titles of two reports: 
Is Scab (potato) Produced by Fertilizers? and Is Potato Scab Caused 
by Insects? 2 Assistant horticulturist M. H. Beckwith reported the 
results of tests he conducted with insecticides in 1887 and 1888. 
These experiments and the materials tested were very crude and 
primitive, but it must be recognized that these tests were pio- 
neering research in the late 1800s. The Station, faced with new 
exotic pests as well as the many native species, recognized the 
need for well trained economic entomologists. When the sub- 
station on Long Island was established in 1894, two entomolo- 
gists and one plant pathologist were hired. One of the entomolo- 
gists, V. Lowe, was transferred to Geneva in 1895. A department 
of entomology was established in Director Jordan's first year as 
Director in 1886. 

(1896-1920): The San Jose scale, a much feared pest of tree fruits, 
was first found in New York in 1894 in an area south of Albany 
and on Long Island. 3 It soon spread to all of the major fruit 
districts of the state. In 1900, entomologist Lowe, and his newly 
acquired assistant, P. J. Parrott, at Geneva, and F. A. Sirrine of 
the Long Island sub-station, conducted some coordinated tests 
using dormant spray applications containing kerosene and 
crude petroleum oil. These products not only gave variable 
results in scale control but often were highly injurious to the 
trees. Much better results were obtained in 1902 with a 10 per 
cent lime sulfur solution, a product that had been successfully 


used earlier in California. Not only was lime sulfur effective in 
killing the scale, but proved relatively non-injurious to the trees 
when applied during the semi-dormant period. The tests con- 
ducted in 1902 were located in orchards on Long Island, the 
Hudson Valley district, Geneva, and Niagara County. Many 
fruit growers elected to visit the test orchard in their area and 
were able to see firsthand what lime sulfur was capable of 

The Department of Entomology underwent important staff 
changes in 1902 and 1903. First, the substation at Jamaica on 
Long Island was closed. Serrine, who had been stationed there 
since 1894 with the title of entomologist, was relocated to the 
substation at Riverhead and given the title of Special Agent. 
Thereafter he was available to assist any Geneva-based staff 
member who desired to include Long Island conditions in his 
studies. Next, on August 12, 1902, P. J. Parrott resigned to accept 
a position in Ohio. Then, Lowe became seriously ill. Early in 
1903, he decided to go to Colorado in an attempt to regain his 
health. This decision was to no avail, however, for on August 27, 
1903, at age 34, he died. The cause of death appears to have been 
tuberculosis. Parrott was asked to return to Geneva to serve as 
head of the entomology department. This he did October 1, 
1903, and he was to hold this post over the next 35 years. 

As observed earlier, Station entomologists established in 1902 
that a 10 per cent lime sulfur spray was effective in controlling 
the notorious San Jose scale. In a test conducted in a Geneva 
orchard that year, lime sulfur applied to trees in early leaf also 
gave good control of apple scab. Undoubtedly, a key factor 
affecting this result was the stage of tree development at treat- 
ment time. The buds were further advanced than in any orchard 
previously treated. This may have been the earliest conclusive 
demonstration of lime sulfur 's potential value for scab control. 
This product was not seriously considered for use for this 
purpose, however, until 1907 when A. B. Cordley of the Oregon 
Station established that it could be safely and effectively used at 
a much more dilute rate than 10 per cent on trees in full foliage. 

Over the period 1902-1920, studies were conducted on the 
biology and control of some 50 species of insect and mite pests. 
Most of these were pests of the tree fruits. Reports of these 
studies were offered in 44 Station bulletins. The species given 
most attention were: San Jose scale (10 bulletins), cabbage 
maggot (5 bulletins), and the apple aphids (5 bulletins). In 1910, 
Hartzell published a 93-page bulletin (No. 331) on the biology 

— 161 — 

and control of five insect pests of grape. 4 Other noteworthy 
studies reported in Station bulletins were: the eriophyid mite 
pests of apple and pear but principally the pear leaf blister mite 
(Nos. 283, 306); the tussock moth (No. 312); pear thrips (No. 
343); the grape leafhopper (No. 359); false tarnished plant bug as 
a pear pest (No. 368); the cranberry toad-bug on Long Island 
(No. 377); the pear psylla (No. 387); tree crickets injurious to 
orchard and garden fruits (No. 388); the cherry leaf beetle (No. 
444); leafhoppers injurious to fruit trees (No. 451); control of the 
grape rootworm (No. 453); and leafhoppers as a potato pest 
(Tech. Bui. 77). 

The Legislature of 1920 provided a special appropriation of 
$5,000 for research on insecticides and fungicides. The Division 
used some of this grant to acquire a new staff member, Guy F. 
MacLeod. He assisted in studies conducted during the first half 
of 1921 on the control of apple red bugs with insecticides ap- 
plied in the form of dusts. 5 

1921-1928: The work of this division was greatly expanded with 
the establishment of the Long Island Vegetable Research Farm in 
1922, the Hudson Valley Fruit Research Substation in 1923, and 
the Canning Crops appropriation of 1925. A new professorial 
staff member was acquired in each instance, being: H. C. 
Huckett (Long Island Substation), F. H. Lathrop (Hudson Valley 
Substation), and Hugh Glasgow 6 (Canning Crops). Lathrop 
resigned in 1924 and F G. Mundinger was appointed to fill this 
Hudson Valley post. 

Over the years 1911-1915, plant pathologists at the Cornell 
Station (joined by C. R. Crosby, the Extension entomologist in 
1914) conducted a series of tests in apple orchards comparing 
the effectiveness of pesticides applied in the form of dusts and 
as sprays. They concluded in 1916 that dusts gave "better 
commercial results in the control of preventable apple diseases 
and apple insects and could be applied much more rapidly and 
thereby at greatly reduced labor costs." In 1920, Geneva Station 
entomologists and plant pathologists launched an extensive 
series of spray-dust comparisons of their own. While apple was 
the principal commodity involved, tests also were conducted on 
other fruits, potato, and vegetable crops. By about 1925, New 
York apple growers were divided into three "camps": those who 
relied on spray treatments exclusively; those using only dusts; 
and a third group using schedules combining both dusts and 
sprays. A big advantage of dusting was rapid rate of application 
compared to the laborious time-consuming spraying with hand- 


held spray guns. Eventually, research and grower experience 
established that for controlling the total disease-insect complex, 
spraying was the more dependable and effective practice. These 
facts became evident as certain pests, notably the codling moth, 
became increasingly difficult to control. Then, too, the rapid- 
application advantage dusting previously had over spraying 
largely disappeared with the advent of the airblast sprayers. 

In 1922, studies were conducted on one or more pests of apple, 
pear, peach, grape, currant, raspberry, potato, cabbage, carrot, 
and cucumber. Of the apple pests, special attention was given to 
the fruit tree leafroller, a species which over-winters in the egg 
stage in masses of + 60 eggs per mass. Attempts were made to 
control the insect by use of a dormant-applied oil spray to kill 
the eggs, or by using, later, several lead arsenate sprays to kill 
the larvae. Neither method proved wholly satisfactory in com- 
bating heavy infestations. While Parrott, Glasgow, and S. W. 
Harman found an eight per cent oil gave good control, this 
product was not advised for use two years in succession, be- 
cause of tree-injury hazards. On the other hand, the necessity of 
having to use one or two extra lead arsenate sprays to kill the 
larvae appeared impractical to most growers. By 1926, the 
codling moth became generally serious in apple orchards of 
Western New York as lead arsenate resistant strains evolved. To 
assist growers here, S. W. Harman started an adult-trapping 
service of this species so that treatments for its control could be 
accurately timed. 

In 1925, when Glasgow was placed in charge of studies on 
Canning Crop pests, he gave special attention, initially, to the 
control of the two species of cherry fruit flies. Canners required 
that cherry fruit be free of all larvae (maggots) of these pests. By 
trapping the adults as they emerged from the soil, Glasgow was 
able to advise growers when the first and all subsequent pesti- 
cidal treatments should be applied. Most growers soon were 
able to provide canners with maggot-free crops. The other 
Canning Crop pests investigated in 1926 were: white grubs, 
wireworms, the spinach leaf-miner, and the carrot-rust fly. 

On Long Island, H. C. Huckett conducted studies on the control 
of pests of cucumber, cabbage and other crucifers, and on 
potato. Most of his investigations at this time involved com- 
parisons of pesticides used in the form of dusts and as sprays. 
Some results favored dusting, others, spraying. Huckett finally 
concluded the performance differences found might be more 
attributable to efficiency differences in the application equip- 


Derrill Daniel was well known for 
his successful Oriental Fruit Moth 
biological control program and for 
being one of the most decorated 
American World War II hews. He 
stayed in the Army, became a 
General and Commander of the 
Paratroopers, and personally made 
more than 100 jumps. 

ment employed rather than to the form in which the pesticides 
were used. 

1928-1938: By 1928, the Mexican bean beetle was established in 
home gardens and commercial plantings of beans in about 
eight counties of western New York. To cope with this problem, 
the Station entered into a cooperative agreement with the U. S. 
Bureau of Entomology whereby a bureau entomologist was 
stationed at Geneva. The person assigned was Rodney Cecil. 
His program was concerned with establishing the distribution 
of the insect in western New York, its life history in this area, 
and, of course, how best to control it. Since control consisted of 
the use of one or more pesticidal treatments, a special problem 
was presented in the case of beans harvested green for canning. 
He found, however, that objectionable traces of pesticide at 
harvest could be avoided by proper timing of treatments used. 

The Legislature, in its 1929 session, appropriated funds for two 
new entomological projects. One was research on the European 
corn borer, the other, in the amount of $13,000, was "for investi- 
gations on certain moths and insects." Specifically named for 
study in 1929 under this blanket grant was the Oriental fruit 
moth, which was newly established in the peach and quince 
orchards of Chatauqua and Niagara counties and the codling 
moth. An existing staff member, D. M. Daniel, was assigned to 
the oriental fruit moth project. He learned that workers else- 
where had been unable to find an effective chemical-control 
measure for this pest. The best hope for control seemed to lie in 
the use of natural enemies, or, more specifically, in the use of 
the parasite Macrocentrus ancylivorus. Daniel quickly developed 
means of rearing large numbers of this species, and by 1937 
colonies of it were being established in infested peach orchards 
over the state. While results varied, the parasite did give, on 
average, commercial control of the Oriental fruit moth. This 
was the first successful biological control effort in New York. In 
1930, the Legislature added $37,000 to the Moths and Insects 
grant bringing its total to $50,000 annually. (It then represented 
13.5 per cent of the Station's total budget.) Most of the addi- 
tional money was used to initiate a new program designed to 
cope with the fruit pest problems most troublesome in eastern 
New York. 7 

The apple maggot was one such problem. It was of major 
importance in orchards of eastern New York, but only second- 
arily so in plantings of western New York. In retrospect, the 
lower incidence of apple maggot in western orchards was due 

— 164 — 

to the late summer heavy use of lead arsenate for codling moth 
control. Apple maggot became a more serious problem there 
when DDT was substituted for lead arsenate. It acquired even 
greater importance in both areas around 1930 when European 
Plant Quarantine officials threatened to reject future shipments 
of American apples showing any degree of infestation by the 
insect. The apple maggot did not occur in Europe, but officials 
recognized it might easily become established there if infested 
fruit continued to be imported. U. S. Department of Agriculture 
officials asked the Geneva Division of Entomology to find some 
practicable way of killing all stages of apple maggot that might 
occur in the harvested fruit. P. J. Chapman was assigned the 
problem. After only three years' study he developed a simple, 
inexpensive, and practical solution. He found and demon- 
strated that no eggs or larvae, the only stages present in apples 
at harvest, could survive in fruit held for a minimum of 35 days 
at 31-33 F. This treatment became accepted by both foreign and 
domestic agencies as the official method for disinfesting fruits 
attacked by apple maggot. 8 Thus, apples were certifiable for 
shipment to Europe, the west coast of the United States, Japan 
and any other part of the world where apple maggot was and is 
not present. This discovery has permitted the export of millions 
of bushels and apples from the northeastern apple growing 
regions of North America with a corresponding return flow of 
dollars from 1933 to the present. 

A worsening of the codling moth, due to the development of 
lead arsenate resistant strains, required the use of lead arsenate 
sprays so late in the season that lead and arsenic residues often 
exceeded tolerated amounts. Growers so affected were obliged 
to reduce these residues to allowable levels either by brushing 
the fruit or washing it in a weak acid solution. Needed was an 
insecticide that was both less persistent and more effective than 
lead arsenate. The first class of products pressed into service for 
this purpose were nicotine-based insecticides. While their use 
alleviated the situation somewhat, complete success was not 
attained until DDT and other synthetic organic insecticides 
were introduced in the 1940s and later. Because of the lesser 
severity of the codling moth in eastern New York, most growers 
here were able to control it and the apple maggot without 
causing excessive lead and arsenate residues at harvest. 

By 1937, the entomological program had become both wide- 
ranging and diverse. Thus, work was being conducted by staff 
located at Geneva, Fredonia, Poughkeepsie, Riverhead, and at 
other points on Long Island, and at Peru and Crown Point in 

——165 — 

" MJrobably no phase of 
-L entomology appeals 
to the lay mind more than 
biological control." " 

the Champlain Valley district. More than 25 species of insects 
and mites were under active investigation over the 1929-1937 
years. These included pests of apple, pear, peach, quince, cherry, 
currant, cabbage and other crucifers, potato, peas, beans, cu- 
cumber and other curcurbits, and various pests of woody plants 
grown under both nursery and post-nursery conditions. The 
studies made on the continuing problems posed by cabbage 
worms, European corn borer, oriental fruit moth, apple maggot, 
codling moth, cherry fruit flies and others were also important. 
But so, also, were those conducted on the biology and control of 
the peach tree borer; the plum curculio as a pest of apple in the 
Hudson Valley area; the apple curculio in Essex County; and the 
round headed apple tree borer, the pear midge, Mexican bean 
beetle, and corn earworm on Long Island-lower Hudson Valley 
area. Hugh Glasgow succeeded in devising practicable means of 
controlling the pea aphid in large acreage situations. This was an 
important contribution and one much appreciated by the growers 
of this crop. 

1938-1948: As reported earlier, Parrott was brought to Geneva to 
work on the San Jose scale problem in 1903. He was successful in 
developing effective controls and was highly respected by farm- 
ers and fellow entomologists. The several special appropriations 
from Albany enabled Parrott to build a very strong division of 
entomology during his tenure as head of the Division from 1903 
to 1928. Parrott assumed the Station Directorship in 1928 and 
appointed Hugh Glasgow as his successor. Glasgow was well 
liked and respected by his colleagues. He provided steady leader- 
ship until his death in the summer of 1948. 

The need for new insecticides, timing and methods of applica- 
tion, and alternative control methods increased in the late 1930s 
and early 1940s. The needs were exacerbated by World War II, 
which resulted in the scarcity of some chemicals and shortages of 
farm labor. The Station's problems and philosophy on pest 
control at that time are found in the following quotation from the 
1939 annual Station Report. 

"Biological, ecological, and physiological control — Prob- 
ably no phase of entomology appeals to the lay mind more than 
biological control. The idea of using predaceous and parasitic 
insects to destroy other species appears to many as both logical 
and economical. In reality, with most pests, the problem is not so 
simple. At present, however, this is the only practical method 
known for the control of the oriental fruit moth on peaches. The 

- — 166— 

rearing and distribution of the parasitic hymenopteron, 
Macrocentrus ancylivorus, requires the entire time of a number of 
workers in the division. Investigations are in progress to deter- 
mine the practicality of biological control of other insects, particu- 
larly the codling moth. 

"More and more attention is being given by Station entomologists 
to the relation of insect pests to their environment. Wild food 
plants, shelter from wind, favorable places for hibernation, and 
other ecological factors play important roles in favoring the 
abundance of certain pests. Important examples of past investiga- 
tions of this type by members of the Division are grape leaflwpper, 
grape berry moth, cherry leaf beetle, pear midge, and pear psylla. 
Ecological studies of the plum curculio were completed and 
published during the past year. Similar studies are being contin- 
ued on oyster shell scale, red bug, bud moth, Japanese beetle and 
other insects. The term 'physiological control' is used to cover 
such a miscellaneous list as light traps, bait traps, chemically 
treated bands, etc., where the response of insects to these various 
physical and chemical attractants are being studied. The value of 
banding for codling moth control and of baits for various insects 
has been receiving attention for a number of years. The light trap 
investigation of codling moth is being continued in cooperation 
with the United States Bureau of Entomology. One important use 
of bait traps and light traps is their service as indicators of the 
rate of emergence of certain insects, thus being of great assistance 
in timing spray applications." 9 

The philosophy and approaches expressed in these two para- 
graphs are remarkably similar to those developed in the late 
1960s and 1970s after the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent 
Spring and the severe pest control problems that emerged as a 
result of extensive resistance that evolved to the available pesti- 
cides. This so-called "new" approach was termed "integrated 
pest management" or "IPM." 10 Clearly, Parrott and the Division 
entomologists were in the vanguard of the field of economic 

From an historical perspective, it is evident that Parrott's philoso- 
phy and the later post-Silent Spring IPM movement were 
prompted in large measure by crises. In the early part of the 
century, when agriculture was changing from small diversified 
farms to large concentrated operations and there were few effec- 
tive pesticides, it was necessary to investigate and use every 
possible approach to obtain satisfactory control methods. With 


the introduction of the very potent organic pesticides following 
World War II, the emphasis changed to determining how best to 
use these new tools effectively and safely. Emphasis on the 
broad based IPM approach resumed later with the crisis brought 
about by problems, including secondary induced pests, pesti- 
cide resistance, and demonstrated environmental problems. 

The nature of research in the Station Entomology Division 
during the World War II years ranged from biological control of 
the oriental fruit moth to pure chemical control studies; how- 
ever, wartime demands were changing the emphasis from 
biological and ecological to chemical control studies. The high- 
lights of four ongoing projects are summarized here to illustrate 
the nature of the problems and the responses of the Geneva 
entomologlists from 1938 to 1945. 

R. W. Dean at the Hudson Valley Station was the first to demon- 
strate the attractiveness of protein hydrolysates in bait traps to 
female apple maggot flies. This was important as a tool for 
detecting the presence of apple maggots in an orchard and 
timing control measures. 11 It was the beginning of efforts to find 
a method of predicting when and if control measures are 
needed to prevent infestation of apples by this dreaded pest, as 
we shall see later in this chapter. 

J. A. Adams worked quietly and without fanfare on the control 
of sweet corn insect pests during the post-war years. He devel- 
oped a survey procedure for European corn borer and corn 
earworm seasonal development and a program to advise grow- 
ers when to apply control measures. F. L. McEwen observed that 
this was an excellent example of integrated pest management. 
In fact, entomologists and plant pathologists at the Station had 
been using IPM principles for many years. 

Pea was an important fresh market and processing crop in New 
York state. The pea aphid was the most important insect pest 
and was capable of complete destruction of the crop. Hugh 
Glasgow had spent eight years searching for suitable insecti- 
cides and developing machinery and methods of application. 
Nicotine and rotenone were the two insecticides found to give 
the best control. Nicotine sulfate 12 was effectively used as a 
dilute spray in water at 150 to 200 gallons per acre, as a concen- 
trated water spray at 20 to 25 gallons per acre or an oil-nicotine 
mixture atomized at four to five gallons per acre. It also was 
found to be effective as a dust. Rotenone was also used as a dust 
and as dilute or concentrated water sprays. There were advan- 


tages and disadvantages to each of these options. Thus, pea 
producers could select the options best suited for their opera- 
tions with full knowledge of the reasons for the selection. 13 
Glasgow was a careful researcher much respected by farmers 
and his peers. 

An interdisciplinary team of Chapman (entomology), G. W. 
Pearce and A. W. Avens (chemistry), and G. D. Oberle (pomol- 
ogy) initiated studies in 1939 on the use of hydrocarbon oils as 
insecticide-acaricides. The oils first examined were the so-called 
dormant oils, which were evaluated for their effectiveness in 
killing the over wintering eggs of the fruit tree leafroller. It was 
found that the amount of oil deposited on the small-diameter 
branches, where the leafroller eggs occur varied widely depend- 
ing on the kind and amount of emulsifying agent used, even 
with the same oil concentration. Because of this, evaluations 
were based principally on the deposits rather than on the oil 
concentration in the spray. A good correlation was established 
between these deposits and egg kill. Sensing that the oils may 
differ in their effectiveness, minimum effective deposit (MED) 
data were obtained on 39 different dormant oils. MED values 
were found to range from 0.8 to 3.5 mg per square inch of bark. 
These differences were found to be related to the basic composi- 
tion of the oils, or more specifically, to paraffinicity; the more 
paraffinic the oil, the more effective it was. This correlation had 
not been established previously. Support for paraffinicity con- 
nection was also found in testing a number of foliar or summer 
oils. Specifications issued for both the dormant and summer oils 
were widely accepted in the deciduous fruit-growing districts of 
the world. This work by Chapman, Pearce, and Avens was 
widely acclaimed. Two papers presented at Entomological 
Society of America meetings on succeeding years were judged to 
be the best papers and received Gold Medal Awards. An indus- 
try representative told the junior author that this was the most 
brilliant research done in this field, and an Esso administrator 
termed Chapman the "father" of modern horticultural spray oils. 

Graduate students were involved in the oil project from time to 
time. E. H. Smith did research on the mode of action (how oil 
kills insects and mites). In a review of this subject, he reported 
that the evidence indicates that oils generally are thought to kill 
by interfering with the exchange of gases through the cuticle 
rather than by penetration and destruction of internal organs. 14 

The European chafer, a major pest of cultivated turf, was first 
found established in North America in 1940 at Newark, New 

— 169 — 

York. F. L. Gambrell investigated the possible use of natural 
enemies and available insecticides to contain the pest, but no 
really effective means of control were found until 1948, when 
chlordane and other related chlorinated hydrocarbons became 
available for soil treatments. A single application of these products 
gave protection for several years. After Gambrell died in 1967, H. 
Tashiro, a U. S. Department of Agriculture entomologist who had 
collaborated earlier with Gambrell for 13 years, was hired to take 
charge of the project. Starting in 1969, resistance to chlordane and 
related chemicals had developed in limited areas. This eventually 
led to the use of annual applications of certain organophosphate 

The codling moth, a native of southeastern Europe that causes the 
"wormy apple" is found almost everywhere apples are grown 
throughout the world. It is a serious pest wherever apples are 
grown in the United States and Canada. Apple maggot larvae also 
feed internally in apple fruits but occur only in eastern United 
States and Canada. Lead arsenate has been effective against the 
apple maggot and also controlled the codling moth until lead 
arsenate resistant strains developed in the late 1930s and early 
1940s. Some orchards in western New York were abandoned 
because no controls were available then for control of these resis- 
tant strains. Extensive research on these problems was underway 
during this period in Western New York by S. W. Harman and in 
the Hudson Valley by R. W. Dean. Alternative pesticides available 
at that time, such as nicotine sulfate and rotenone, were not 
effective substitutes for the arsenicals. It was not until DDT and 
other organic insecticides were introduced that the codling moth 
was brought under control. Members of the Chemistry Division, 
A. W. Avens and others, were cooperating with entomologists on 
residue analyses and developing methods to remove excessive 
residues resulting from late season applications. It should be 
noted that these major apple insect pests and fruit diseases created 
the demand for establishing and the continued maintenance of the 
Hudson Valley Laboratory near Poughkeepsie. 

1948-1965: This was a period when many new organic pesticides 
were discovered and introduced, including insecticides, miticides, 
fungicides, nematicides and herbicides. It also spanned P. I. 
Chapman's term as head of the Division of Entomology. For the 
Station entomologists responsible for finding measures to control 
insect and mite pests on crops, these new chemicals were both a 
great opportunity and a challenge. They provided unheard of 
control of several formerly uncontrollable pests, yet they caused 
previously unknown secondary problems, such as pesticide 

— 170 — 

Edward H. Glass speaking to a 
New York Horticultural tour 
group in Station Orchard 12, 
which was used to evaluate control 
measures for apple pests. 

residues, off flavors, creation of secondary pests, and environmen- 
tal hazards. Further, resistant strains of several insects and mites 
developed after only a few years of continual use. On balance, 
however, these new products enabled increased production of 
quality vegetables, fruits, and other farm products, and were 
welcomed by farmers. 

The organochlorine, DDT, was among the first and most notable 
of these new synthetic organic insecticides. It became available for 
the military early in World War II and is credited with saving the 
lives of millions of soldiers and civilians from the ravages of war 
associated diseases such as typhus and malaria. By the mid-1950s, 
samples of DDT were available for testing against agricultural and 
other pests. Station entomologists soon learned that DDT was 
remarkably effective against the codling moth and several other 
pests of apple and other fruits, as well as a number of vegetable 
pests. Later in the decade, several organophosphate insecticides 
and miticides, such as parathion and malathion, were available 
for testing. Parathion and some others were very toxic to man and 
animals. The challenge to entomologists at Geneva and elsewhere 
was to evaluate these new products, determine how they could be 
used effectively and safely for the farmer and the consumer, and 
not disrupt the environment. The history of a few examples on 
fruits and a vegetables during this period illustrate the nature of 
Station department activities during this period. 

The Mexican bean beetle had been ravaging dry and snap bean 
fields for a number of years in spite of the use of rotenone appli- 
cations. G. E. R. Hervey evaluated available new materials and 


found that methoxychlor and sevin insecticides gave excellent 
control, were relatively safe to use, and did not create a residue 
problem. Mexican bean beetles have been difficult to find in 
commercial New York bean fields since that time. 

A. C. Davis was appointed April 1950 to replace L. Carruth, who 
had resigned to accept a position as head of the Entomology De- 
partment at Arizona State University. He initiated extensive studies 
on potential problems that might arise with the use of the then 
newly available insecticides. This work was carried out in coopera- 
tion with members of the Food Science and Technology Division: J. 
C. Hening for flavor, W. Robinson for color, and A. Avens for 
pesticide residues. They determined that some experimental 
insecticides could not be used because of undesirable affects on 
flavor, and the use of others had to be limited to prevent harmful 
residues at harvest. This project illustrated the need for and the 
value of close inter-divisional collaboration. 

Larvae of the seed corn maggot, a major pest of large-seeded crops, 
reduce yields by destroying or retarding the growth of young 
germinating plants. Wayne Howe, an entomology graduate stu- 
dent, studying under Dr. Hervey's and plant pathologist W. T. 
Schroeder's direction in the late 1940s, provided the first effective 
control of this pest. It consisted of a seed treatment using lindane, 
dieldrin, or chlordane in combination with a fungicide to control 
seed pathogens. This original research opened an extended time 
for planting. Previously, recommendations had designated plant- 
ing only during a four- to six-day period when flies were not 

A five-acre apple orchard had been established about 1930 on 
Station grounds for evaluation of experimental procedures to 
control apple pests, especially the codling moth. Donald Collins 
conducted research in this orchard in the 1930s on the use of light 
traps to attract and destroy moths and to obtain data on moth flight 
periods as a guide to timing spray applications. The trees were 
pruned, fertilized and sprayed with fungicides according to stan- 
dard procedures. Only about 20 per cent of the trees were sprayed 
with insecticides or miticides in any one year, thus leaving the rest 
untreated to maintain high populations of insect and mite pests and 
especially beneficial species. Orchard 12 became a very valuable 
facility for preliminary screening of the several new insecticides 
that were available during the post-war decades. There were large 
populations of pests, the fruit was not consumed, and tree injury 
was not a problem. Thus, it was possible to conduct preliminary 
field screening prior to commercial orchard evaluations. 


By 1948, DDT had been used very successfully for two seasons in 
many Western New York apple orchards for codling moth con- 
trol. Unexpectedly the redbanded leafroller emerged as a serious 
problem causing alarming amounts of fruit damage. DDT, at the 
dosage and methods of applications used by growers, was inef- 
fective against this new pest and killed natural enemies such as 
Trichograma egg parasites. A close relative of DDT, named DDD, 
provided excellent control for several years until resistance 
developed in the late 1950s. Other available insecticides, includ- 
ing Guthion, were ineffective when applied against the larvae, 
which feed on the undersides of the leaves under webbing and 
are well protected from sprays. In 1959, E. H. Glass discovered 
that Guthion, applied in the normal grower application manner 
just before moth emergence begins and repeated at two-week 
intervals during moth emergence, kills moths before they lay 
eggs. Apple growers obtained remarkable control with this 
procedure. One hundred percent control was common in grower 
orchards. Interestingly, Guthion applied against the larvae had 
been found ineffective by Dean in the Hudson Valley and by 
Glass in Western New York. 

Serious consideration was not given to the use of virus and 
bacterial diseases for the control of fruit and vegetable pests 
until 1954. That year, Glass obtained redbanded leafroller larvae 
diseased with a granulosis virus from Virginia and propagated 
the virus in a laboratory colony of this insect. It proved to be 
very contagious and lethal against newly hatched larvae in the 
laboratory. In a field test, however, it infected all the first genera- 
tion larvae, but many survived to the pupal stage and emerged 
to lay second generation eggs. These hatched and, surprisingly, 
not a single diseased second generation larva or pupa was 
found. R L. McEwen and G. E. R. Hervey had better success in 
1957 using a virus causing polyhedrosis in the cabbage looper. 
In 1959, Glass and McEwen joined forces to make further stud- 
ies on the above and to evaluate the bacterium Bacillus 
thuringiensis for control of the redbanded leafroller, the codling 
moth, and the cabbage looper. Except for the codling moth, 
good control was achieved. In spite of these results, the com- 
mercially available bacterium saw little use for a number of 
years owing to competition from more effective chemical control 
agents and the reluctance of the Food and Drug Administration 
to authorize its use. 

S. E. Lienk was appointed in March 1950 and began investiga- 
tions in collaboration with Chapman on tree fruit mites and other 
entomological studies. This remarkably harmonious collabora- 

— 173 — ■ 

Sigfried E. Lienk 

tion lasted until Lienk's death in 1983. Some details of their 
research are found later in this chapter. 

The Geneva Station was the only unit conducting a major re- 
search program on insect and mite pests of strawberry, raspberry 
and other small fruits in the eastern United States during this 
period. G. A. Schaefers was in charge of the project from 1958 
until he assumed chairmanship of the Department in 1983. Many 
improvements in pest management and fruit production have 
resulted from this program, with the work on the tarnished plant 
bug being the most valuable. For many years, frost damage was 
considered responsible for deformed "cat-faced" strawberries. 
Schaefers' research established that plant bug feeding during 
bloom caused a localized loss of growth hormone production, 
resulting in undeveloped areas of the berries. The recommended 
treatments for the control of this important pest proved both 
highly effective and economical. 

The question of restricting the shipment of apples from New York 
and other states where the apple maggot and plum curculio are 
present surfaced again in the late 1950s with the development of 
controlled atmospheric storage (CA). This method, which pro- 
longs storage and shelf life of apples nine or more months, 
involves storage for 100 days or more at 32 to 38 F. temperatures, 
with oxygen concentrations of 3 per cent and carbon dioxide 
levels of 2 per cent to 8 per cent. R. M. Smock, pomologist at 
Ithaca, was a leader in developing this technology. The question 
was whether or not CA storage was completely lethal to all stages 
of apple maggot and plum curculio. Glass, Chapman, and Smock 
demonstrated that the minimum storage time (90 days required 
for certified CA apples) is completely lethal to all apple maggot 
and plum curculio that might be present in the fruit. In April 
1960, the California Department of Agriculture amended its 
quarantine regulations to permit the entry of properly stored 
eastern CA apples into California. 15 

In 1951, S. E. Lienk, pomologist O. F. Curtis, and Chapman 
initiated an orchard study to determine whether or not the injury 
caused to apple leaves by mite feeding had any impact on the 
growth and productivity of apple trees. They demonstrated that a 
heavy early season infestation of the European red mite had no 
effect on the size, color, and quality of Cortland apples that 
season but reduced yield by 240 bushels per acre. Further, there 
was a delayed effect. Mites interfered with fruit bud formation in 
1951 causing a light bloom and a 261 bushel per-acre loss in 1952. 
Thus, one mite infestation resulted in a total loss of 501 bushels 

—.174 — 

Paul }. Chapman 

per acre. Fruit growers and researchers had not associated mite 
infestations with such high fruit losses. This was the first experi- 
mental evidence of this nature and preceded a number of similar 
studies made by others in later years under the rubric of IPM. 
These results and follow-up studies convinced growers of the 
importance of early season mite control. 

Earlier, we reported on the research and comparisons of spraying 
versus dusting of insecticides and fungicides, noting that while 
spraying proved to be generally more reliable than dusting, the 
latter had distinct advantages. Also, we noted that the new 
airblast spraying offered the advantages of both types of applica- 
tions. Dusting ceased to be used by growers as commercial 
airblast sprayers became available. 

During the 1950s, experiments and commercial use of airblast 
spraying were in progress with "concentrate sprays," i. e., using 
higher concentrations of pesticides with corresponding less 
gallons per acre. Most of the applications were made with the 
popular "Speed Sprayer." A fruit grower in the Hudson Valley in 
collaboration with James Brann, then located at the Geneva 
Station's Hudson Valley laboratory, developed a novel sprayer 
useful only for concentrated low-gallonage spraying of fruit trees. 
It was called "Mistomatic." Brann was transferred from the 
Hudson Valley Station to the Entomology Department in Ithaca 
to work on farm spraying equipment in collaboration with Ithaca 
agricultural engineers. At first, his primary interest was the 

— 175— 

E. H. Glass checking the catch of 
redbanded leafroller moths in a 
pheromone trap. 

Mistomatic sprayer. Brann and an Ithaca plant pathologist, 
Arthur Burrell, working primarily in the Champlain Valley fruit 
area, were advising growers that they could obtain the same 
results with concentrated spraying using 80 per cent of the 
fungicides, insecticides, and miticides per acre normally used in 
regular dilute sprays. There was no sound experimental evidence 
presented to justify this advice. 

Plant pathologists J. M. Hamilton and M. Szkolnik, in collabora- 
tion with entomologists S. E. Lienk and E. H. Glass, undertook a 
series of evaluations of dilute sprays with 2X, 4X, 6X, and 8X 
concentrations with insecticides, miticides and fungicides. They 
also compared the "Mistomatic" with the "Speed Sprayer" at 8X 
concentration. After three years, it was determined that the most 
reliable results, especially under adverse spraying conditions, 
were obtained with dilute sprays. Likewise the Speed Sprayer 
gave the most consistent results, especially in the tops of large 
trees. The main advantage of concentrate spraying was in savings 
of water, time spent at the filling station, and overall time spent 
in the spraying operation. There was no evidence of saving on 
pesticides. In fact, the opposite was true for difficult situations. 16 
This situation proved to be contentious and caused some awk- 
ward situations at grower meetings. The results? Growers ulti- 
mately learned to use concentrated spraying to save water and 
time when it could be done safely and reverted to dilute for mite 
and other difficult to control problems. Also, the Mistomatic 
disappeared from the market 17 and Brann was named the exten- 
sion fruit entomologist where he performed admirably until he 
retired years later. 

—176 — - 

It was during Chapman's term as head of the Entomology Depart- 
ment that the new Barton Laboratory was designed and approved 
for construction. Chapman turned to Davis for assistance in work- 
ing with the architects to ensure that all needed facilities were 
included in the plans to enable the execution of the expanded 
research programs projected for the Department. Davis proved to 
have exceptional skills in this area and he soon was asked to work 
with the plant pathologists in a similar role. He later was appointed 
associate director of the Station and, additionally assisted with 
building projects on the Ithaca campus. More details of his role in 
administration are found in Chapter X. Both Departments of Plant 
Pathology and Entomology are indebted to Davis for his contribu- 

1965-1982: By 1965, there had been only three heads of the Entomol- 
ogy Division/Department: P. J. Parrott, 1903-1938, H. Glasgow, 
1938-1948 and P. J. Chapman, 1948 to 1965. Chapman's successor 
was F. L. McEwen. A Canadian by birth, he elected in 1968 to accept 
a comparable position at the University of Guelph in Canada, 
where he later became Dean of the College of Agriculture. Succeed- 
ing him at Geneva was E. H. Glass, who served as head for 13 years 
from 1969 to 1982. Both Glass and McEwen had been closely 
associated with Chapman and other members of the department 
for a number of years, and were in full support of the overall plans 
for the future of the department. McEwen made an excellent choice 
in bringing H. Tashiro back from a California U. S. Department of 
Agriculture position to take over Gambrell's programs following 
the latter 's sudden death in 1967. Glass was instrumental in bring- 
ing several outstanding new scientists to Geneva to replace retirees 
or filled new positions. Unlike Chapman, Glass chose to give up 
active research and turned his attention to national and interna- 
tional affairs. He was active in the Entomological Society of 
America and served as president in 1978, spent a year in Washing- 
ton chairing a committee preparing a report on integrated pest 
management at the Office for Technical Assessment for Congress, 
was a member of two and chair of one National Academy of 
Sciences committees and served on its Agricultural Board, and was 
active in the United States Agency for International Development 
sponsored Consortium for International Crop Protection as a board 
member and on several short overseas assignments. 

Chapman was head during the critical post World War II period 
when the Station was expanding both in physical facilities and in 
numbers of staff. It can be truly said that he led the department into 
the new 20th century science of entomology. He made three major 
contributions to the department. 


During his 17-year term, 10 entomology faculty positions were 
filled. He set very high standards for selecting new staff includ- 
ing being well-rounded persons as well as promising scientists. 18 
Of these, five went on to chair departments of entomology at 
Geneva or elsewhere. Four were appointed to director of research 
or extension, and one was appointed dean of a college of agricul- 
ture. One member was elected to the National Academy of 
Sciences and, later, named a Cornell Liberty Hyde Bailey profes- 
sor, the first from the Geneva Station. 

The second major contribution by Chapman in the early 1960s 
was to lead his department in designing a plan for its future, 
which was used as a guide for designing Barton Laboratory in 
preparation for new positions and programs. Also, as noted in 
Chapters IX and X, he took advantage of expertise within his 
department, especially A. Davis, as well as from his many con- 
tacts in the scientific and industrial communities. These efforts 
ensured that the new facility would accommodate not only 
existing programs but also projected new research programs. 

Chapman's third major contribution was to instill in his faculty a 
sense of the importance of their missions and provide guidelines 
and support to achieve their objectives. Much of this he did by 
example. He maintained an innovative and productive research 
effort throughout his entire time at Geneva and was still active 
after his official retirement. He was an excellent collaborator and 
regularly entered into projects with scientists from other disci- 

Another example of the benefits of researching new pesticides to 
solve serious insect pest problems New York crops occurred in 
the 1970s when a complex of lettuce insect pests was devastating 
lettuce production in Oswego County. C. Eckenrode found that a 
safe experimental insecticide was very effective against these 
pests; however, it was not registered, and the potential market 
was too small to justify the expense of a national registration by 
the manufacturer. Eckenrode collaborated with James Dewey, 
State Pesticide Coordinator at Ithaca, to obtain a New York State 
registration for the product on lettuce. Oswego Vegetable County 
Agent, Dale Young, in an informal survey, found the savings to 
lettuce growers resulting from this action to be more than 
$3,000,000 over a five year period. 

Apple was introduced to North America from Europe in colonial 
times. It now occurs widely and, in New York, is found both as a 
wild and cultivated plant. Many native insects have become 

— 178— 

temporary or permanent pests in commercial orchards. In 1957, 
Chapman and Lienk, with collaboration from taxonomist J. G 
Franclemont of the Department of Entomology at Ithaca, under- 
took an extended study of insects that breed on wild unsprayed 
apple trees and are potential threats to commercial orchardists. 
They limited their study to the lepidopterous family, Tortricidae, 
because the entire range of insects was too great to study and 
because this group already contained major apple pests such as 
the codling moth. The study, which involved 49 species, obtained 
most of the biological information needed to cope with these 
species should they move into commercial plantings. In 1971, 
Chapman and Lienk published a 122-page book illustrated with 
black and white photos of wild apple trees and how they were 
"planted" by cows, along with color reproductions of paintings 
of moths and larvae. 19 The project was supported by two Na- 
tional Science Foundation grants and won commendation by this 
agency. Interestingly, the first application for the grant was 
returned with suggestions for changes needed to make it accept- 
able. It was returned again for additional changes before final 
acceptance. Chapman's comment was "The last proposal is 
different from the first, but the research will be the same." 20 

Chapman's and Lienk's final collaborative effort was a major 
study of all Macrolepidoptera present in the Geneva area as mea- 
sured by catches in daily monitored light traps from April 
through November 15 from 1974 through 1978. Over the five-year 
period, 670 species were recovered. All initial species identifica- 
tions were made by J. G Franclemont. A reference collection of 
these species was assembled with all specimens confirmed by 
Franclemont. The collection is estimated to represent 95 per cent 
of the total Macrolepidoptera present in the Geneva area. The flight 
period information will always be available for use by research 
and extension workers as well as farmers to time needed control 
measures. In 1980, Chapman commented that "It is doubtful that 
anyone has obtained a more complete record on so many species 
over as long a period anywhere in the world." 21 

Chapman and Dale Webb prepared and published the final 
report on this study in 1991. 22 The title was, Flight Period(s) of the 
Larger Species of Moths (Macrolepidoptera) that Occur in Western New 
York. Chapman was 91 years of age. He made his long-time col- 
laborator, Lienk who died in 1988, the senior author. 

As noted earlier, the seed corn maggot is a major pest of large- 
seeded crops and can reduce yields by destroying young plants or 
retarding their growth. In an effort to find an alternative to chemi- 

■— 179 — 

cal seed treatments, C. Eckenrode began a study to learn how the 
adult females are able to locate where the seeds have been planted 
below the soil surface. In collaboration with his assistant, D. Webb, 
and plant pathologist G. Harman of the Department of Seed and 
Vegetable Sciences, it was discovered, in 1975, that certain microor- 
ganisms on and around germinating seeds give off odors that are 
used by the adult females to locate the seeds. This opened a new 
window for controlling this pest. Interestingly, it also led to the 
development of an experimental biological control method, i.e., 
coating the seed with an innocuous soil fungus that masked the 
attractant or prevented the development of the naturally occurring 
seed microorganisms. These studies also led ultimately to the 
development and use of a microorganism useful for the control of 
seed and plant pathogens(see Chapter XVI). 

When A. C. Davis became Associate Director of the Geneva Sta- 
tion, A. M. Shelton was hired in July 1979 to replace Davis with 
responsibilities for research on vegetables. Working closely with 
the Geneva-based IPM Program, Shelton developed programs for 
managing the insect pests of processing sweet corn and crucifers. 
Both programs were adopted by the growers and processors and 
led to a 30 per cent reduction in the use of insecticides in these 
crops. Annual savings across the state were about $500,000. For 
this and his other work on biological control and pesticide resis- 
tance, Shelton was presented the Award for Excellence in Pest 
Management by the Entomological Society of America. 

In the early 1960s, the Entomology Department finally had ap- 
proval from Director Barton and Ithaca administration to employ a 
chemist to conduct research on insect attractants. W. L. Roelofs was 
employed in 1965. It turned out to be a remarkably wise decision. 
Under his leadership, the research on insect pheromones led to the 
development of microchemical techniques for the isolation and 
identification in the laboratory of pheromone components of more 
than 50 insect species. A rapid method of identifying major phero- 
mone components of species from around the world was devel- 
oped by using the electroantennagram technique developed by 
Roelofs and associates. This technique is used to test for active 
fractions with male moth antennae and for producing male moth 
response profiles from libraries of chemicals. The identified phero- 
mone blends were immediately used to monitor insect populations 
in insect control programs. Subsequently, techniques were investi- 
gated that led to their use in mating disruption. Research on this 
chemical communication system was carried out on insects' 
biochemical and physiological mechanisms of production and 
reception, leading to insights into the genetics and evolution of 


Wendell Roelofs at the original gas 
chromatograph he used to identify 
the pheromones of many insect 
pest species. 

moth pheromone systems. Research also focused on 
neuromodulators of central nervous system thresholds involved 
in pheromone perception. Roelofs attracted a remarkably out- 
standing series of postdoctoral and graduate students who have 
since gone on to develop fine research programs. Some have 
moved into administrative positions. 

Of the numerous awards received by Roelofs, the most presti- 
gious are the Alexander von Humbolt Award in 1977, the 
$100,000 Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture in 1983, the Na- 
tional Medal of Science in 1985, and his election to the National 
Academy of Sciences in 1985, the first recipient from the Station. 
Cornell recognized him as a Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in 
1978, the first Station professor to receive this honor. He also has 
been awarded honorary Doctoral Degrees from four universities. 

Roelofs' group made extensive use of a laboratory reared colony 
of the redbanded leaf roller that the junior author had established 
earlier for other purposes. It was a species that had been causing 
major problems in northeastern apple orchards and could be 
reared successfully on fava beans in the greenhouse. When 
Roelofs had identified its pheromone and synthesized it in the 
laboratory, he wanted to test it in the field. Glass took Roelofs, 
with a small vial of the synthetic pheromone, to an apple orchard 
known to have a moderate population of this species. As we 
drove between the rows of apple trees, we soon saw numerous 
redbanded leafroller moths following our truck. And Roelofs still 

— 181 — 

President Reagan presenting the 
National Medal of Science Award 
to Wendell Roelofsfor his pioneer- 
ing research on the identification 
and use of insect pheromones in 
monitoring and management of 
insect pests (February 27, 1985). 

had not opened the vial. There was no doubt that the sample was 
the pheromone of this pest. It was an exciting day. 

Following the sudden death of F. L. Gambrell in 1967, H. Tashiro 
was brought back to Geneva to take over the turf pest research 
programs. Tashiro expanded the scope of the program before 
retirement in 1983. After retirement, he completed his 391-page 
classic book on turfgrass insects including 64 color plates of turf 
pests and damage they cause. 23 It soon became a standard 
reference on this subject. 

An insect toxicologist, R. J. Kuhr, joined the department October 
1, 1968. Besides being an able toxicologist, he was an excellent 
collaborator with the other members of the department and a 
fine teacher. He also demonstrated an aptitude for administra- 
tion and was promoted to associate director of research for the 
College of Agriculture in Ithaca in 1978 and later moved to 
North Carolina State University as chairman of the department 
of Entomology and, eventually, as director of Agricultural Re- 

Another dimension was added to the department in 1972 when 
W. S. Bowers joined the staff to conduct research on plant hor- 
mones, which had potential for controlling arthropod pests. 
During his 12 years at Geneva, he discovered and patented 
several "juvenile hormones" from plants that delayed develop- 
ment and caused death of insects. He left Geneva in 1984 to 
assume chairmanship of the Department of Entomology at the 
University of Arizona. Interestingly, L. A. Carruth left the Station 
in 1948 to assume the chairmanship of the same department. 

— 182 — 

Later, Bowers was elected to the National Academy of Sciences 
in 1994, based partly on his discoveries made at Geneva. 

In 1972, E. H. Glass organized and chaired a multidisciplinary 
committee to prepare a grant request to the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture for funding a project, "Pest Management on Apple 
with Reduced amounts of Pesticides." P. Arneson (extension plant 
pathologist, Ithaca.), J. Brann (extension entomologist, Ithaca), O. 
Curtis (pomologist, Geneva), J. Gilpatrick (plant pathologist, 
Geneva), J. Hunter (plant pathologist, Geneva), S. Lienk (ento- 
mologist, Geneva), W. Roelofs (chemist, Geneva), and K. Trammel 
(entomologist, Geneva) served on the committee. The USD A 
Agricultural Research Service awarded a grant of $75,000 for a 
three-year project from June 1973 to June 1976. J. Tette was hired as 
project leader. This project and a similar alfalfa project at Ithaca 
provided the impetus for launching a State-wide IPM effort, which 
later evolved into the Integrated Pest Management Support Group 
headed by J. Tette with headquarters at the Geneva Station (See 
Chapter XVII). 

When W. H. Reissig came to the Station in 1973, he assumed 
responsibility to find new and improved approaches to monitoring 
and control of the apple maggot, the most dangerous insect pest of 
this crop. At that time, the standard control program for this major 
apple pest was to maintain a protective pesticide residue on the 
foliage and fruit to kill all adult females before they could lay eggs 
in the fruit, a period extending from late June or early July until 
the end of August. However, since most commercial orchards do 
not have indigenous populations of apple maggot, an improved 
management system would be feasible if a monitoring system 
could be developed to detect flies immigrating into orchards from 
outside sources. As reported earlier, Dean had determined that 
protein hydrolysates attract flies but were not efficient enough to 
determine accurately the first flies or assess the numbers present. 
Reissig initiated research on both visible and chemical attractants. 
In collaboration with W. Roelofs, he found that a blend of six 
components of apple fruits was very attractive, especially when 
used in conjunction with red sticky balls. R. Prokopy, at the Uni- 
versity of Massachusetts, and others had found that flies are 
somewhat attracted to red balls hung in apple trees. Reissig, 
working with a small company selling insect lures, developed kits 
containing plastic spheres, a sticky substance to coat the spheres, 
and a small square cardboard impregnated with the volatile 
attractants. Growers can quickly assemble and hang these in the 
orchards for periodic inspection. No control operations are recom- 
mended until five or more apple maggot flies have been caught. As 

— 1 83 

a result of this development, the number of sprays used by grow- 
ers to control apple maggot has been reduced from an average of 
three or four to one or two. 

A major problem of resistance in insect and mite control followed 
closely on the introduction and use of the new organic insecticides 
and miticides that were introduced in the decades following World 
War II. DDT, DDD, parathion, and many others began to fail after a 
few years of use against vegetable, fruit, turf, and pests of other 
crops, animals, and humans as resistant strains evolved. All mem- 
bers of the department from the most applied to the most basic 
were involved in some aspect of the problem. Some were experi- 
menting with still newer chemicals or attempting to find other 
approaches such as biological controls, attractants, microbials, 
resistant varieties, as described earlier in this chapter. The new 
facility, completed in 1968, and the new basic scientists added to 
the department in that period enabled a broad approach to the 
solution of these challenges. 

The history of entomology at the Geneva Station would not be 
complete without recording the development of technologies for 
rearing pests and beneficial species of insects and mites. Even 
while housed in the primitive research quarters in Parrott Hall, D. 
Daniel developed a method for rearing large numbers of Oriental 
Fruit moths in "thinning apples," 24 which, in turn, he used to rear 
the parasites. This was a pioneering effort, especially in view of the 
lack of knowledge at that time of the photoperiodic influence on 
diapause. Since then, other pest species and natural enemies have 
been reared continuously for extended periods of time for labora- 
tory, greenhouse, and field research. Glass and Hervey developed 
a procedure for continuous rearing of the redbanded leafroller in 
the greenhouse for toxicological studies in the laboratory and field. 
Later, Roelofs found this species to be an ideal "guinea pig" for his 
pioneering pheromone research. During the 1930 to 1982 period, 
seven vegetable and 11 fruit pests have been successfully reared 
for experimental use over extended periods of time. 

By the centennial year of the Station, 1982, the Department of 
Entomology had become a broadly based research unit designed to 
conduct the pioneering basic and practical applied research 
needed to provide New York farmers and turfgrass managers with 
effective, safe procedures to prevent losses from arthropod pests. 
Department faculty members were also active in oversight of 
graduate student research and taught courses at Ithaca as needed. 
The department has been a recognized leader in these areas, and 
most states in the northeastern United States have followed recom- 

— 184— 

mendations originating at the Geneva station. The department has 
had a significant overall impact on the agriculture of this region. 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt., 1888, pp. 144-152. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt., 1888, pp. 224-227. 

3 NYSAES Bui. No. 87. New Series 1995, pp. 127-128. 

4 Geneva Sta. Bui. 331. 1910, pp. 98. 

5 Geneva Sta. Bui. 490. 1921, pp. 30. 

6 Actually, Glasgow was an existing staff member. The position he vacated was 
used to employ a new entomological staff member, D. M. Daniel. 

7 The senior author was added to the staff June 1, 1930 and placed in charge of 
this new effort. Staff entomologist, F. D. Mundinger, was already in residence 
in this area and had headquarters in the basement of the Biology building on 
the Vassar College campus at Poughkeepsie. This location also became the 
growing season headquarters for the enlarged entomological and plant 
disease programs. 

8 Geneva Sta. Tech. Bui. 206. 1933, p. 19. 
» NYSAES Ann. Rpt., 1939, pp. 21-22. 

10 It is interesting to note that several Geneva entomologists, especially senior 
author Chapman, espoused the principles of IPM but seldom if ever used the 
term. He had been using the philosophy all his professional life. The approach 
was not new to him. In fact, entomologists and plant pathologists at the 
Station had been developing and using IPM practices for many years but 
without using the new name. 

n Jour. Econ. Ent. 1941, 34(1). p. 123. 

12 It is of interest that the Station had a project to produce tobacco with a high 
nicotine content for use by farmers for insect control. See chapter XV for 
further details. 

13 NYSAES Ann. Rpt., 1943, p. 26. 

14 E. H. Smith, Tree Spray Oils, in Advances in Chemistry series, No. 7, pp. 3-11, 

15 Glass, Chapman and Smock, 1961. Fate of Apple Maggot and Plum Curculio 
Larvae in Apple Fruits Held in Controlled Atmospheric Storage. Jour. Econ. Ent. 54, 
5 pp. 915-918. 

16 Farm Research, Vol. 19, No 2, April 1953, pp. 14-15. 

17 Its demise may have been hastened by Hamilton's remark made at an Ithaca 
pesticide conference: "The only good thing that it is good for, is to take the 
motor out, put it in a boat and go fishing." 

18 The junior author joined the staff three months before Chapman was ap- 
pointed head in 1948. 

19 Adult moths were painted by entomologist H. Tashiro and the larvae by plant 
pathologist J. Keplinger of the Geneva Station. 

20 Chapman to Glass, personal communication. 

21 Chapman Curriculum Vitae, 1980. 

22 New York's Food and Life Sciences Bulletin, No. 137, 1991. 

23 Tashiro, Haruo. 1987. Turfgrass Insects of the United States and Canada. Ithaca, 
Cornell University Press. 

24 Apples picked from trees when about one inch in diameter to allow the 
remaining crop to reach marketable size at harvest. Thinning apples keep in 
cold storage for at least one year and are suitable for rearing oriental fruit 
moth and other apple feeders. 

-—■185 — 


Plant Pathology 

As noted in Chapter II, the initial Station staff did not 
include a plant pathologist even though the ravages of 
pathogens were well known. In part, the reason was 
that there were very few people available with the training and 
experience needed to research these applied problems. In 1884, 
Sturtevant demonstrated foresight when he employed a "bota- 
nist," J. C. Arthur, with the interest and training required to 
identify pathogens and develop control measures. By today's 
standards he would have been designated a plant pathologist. 
Arthur was the first "plant pathologist" to be appointed to the 
staff of an American State Agricultural Experiment Station. 

Arthur resigned in 1887' and E. S. Goff and M. H. Beckworth 
took over the plant disease investigations. However little research 
was done on plant pathogens until S. A. Beach came to Geneva in 
1892. He was a horticulturist but gave emphasis to plant pathol- 
ogy in his first years because of the severe losses caused by fruit 
diseases at that time. 

Botany (1896-1936): Most of the plant pathology studies made at 
the Station before 1936 were made by members of the Botany 
Division established in 1896 by Director Jordan. F. C. Stewart was 
appointed as a mycologist in 1894, with headquarters at a newly 
established substation at Jamaica, Long Island during Director 
Collier's administration. The research conducted at the Long 
Island station was concerned mostly with the disease and nema- 
tode problems of potato. Stewart was given the title of botanist 
and transferred to Geneva in 1898 to take charge of the new 
Department of Botany, a position he held for 38 years. During this 
period, he conducted pioneering work on diseases of fruits, 
vegetables, forest trees, and ornamentals. The reader should be 
aware that the State Seed Inspection Program mandated in 1912 
was also assigned to the Botany Division from 1912 until 1936. 

In 1902, Stewart announced his intention to conduct a 10-year 
study "to determine how much the yield of potatoes may be 
increased by spraying the plants with Bordeaux mixture." It 

— 186 — 

previously had been established that this fungicide was consis- 
tently effective in controlling late blight, the principal disease of 
potato. But as Stewart observed: "farmers (in New York) are not 
yet convinced that it pays to spray potatoes (with this product 
every year)." True to his word, the project was started in 1902 and 
continued without interruption through the 1911 season. A total 
of 338 tests were conducted over the 10-year period. These con- 
sisted of: 20 experiments conducted by the Station's staff at 
Geneva and Riverhead; 113 tests conducted by individual farmers 
under Station supervision; and 205 volunteer farmers' tests 
having no Station supervision. In summing up what was learned 
Stewart wrote: "These experiments demonstrate, beyond doubt, 
that the spraying of potatoes is highly profitable in New York." 2 
This monumental study is largely responsible for making the 
spraying of potatoes, thereafter, a standard practice of New York 
potato growers. 

The Legislature of 1913 appropriated $5,000 to conduct investiga- 
tions on hop culture. Studies were initiated in this field at 
Hartwick in Otsego County by a new botanist, F. M. Blodgett. 
Principal attention in 1913 and 1914 was given to the develop- 
ment of a means of controlling hop mildew. Blodgett learned that 
elemental sulfur applied as a dust gave excellent control of this 
major disease. His findings were reported in February 1915. 3 
Blodgett resigned May 1, 1915 to accept an appointment in the 
College of Agriculture at Ithaca. This hop research effort essen- 
tially ended with his departure. 

By about 1912, lime sulfur had displaced Bordeaux mixture for 
the control of apple scab. It was not that the former was the more 
effective in scab control, but it was much less injurious to the fruit 
and foliage. To determine whether or not the same situation 
prevailed for potatoes, the two fungicides were compared in a 
series of tests conducted over the 1911-1915 period. On this crop, 
Bordeaux mixture proved superior to lime sulfur in every respect: 
It increased yields, was non-injurious to the foliage, and was 
most effective in controlling late blight. M. T. Munn reported that 
lime sulfur reduced yields, injured the foliage, and apparently 
was worthless in blight control. 4 

Although weeds are not considered plant pathogens, it seems 
appropriate to report Station weed control studies in this chapter 
because the early studies were conducted primarily by the same 
persons who conducted plant pathology research. Even though 
weeds are major pests, particularly of row crops, research con- 
ducted on weed management was not legitimized as a science or 

— 187- 

a department at Geneva or most other institutions during the first 
100 years of the Station's existence. Weed control, however, has 
always been judged to be a major problem in agriculture. The 
Station's earliest botanist, J. C. Arthur, spent several years investi- 
gating weed problems and their control. It is interesting to learn 
from the 1919 Geneva Station Annual Report that M. T. Munn in 
the Botany Division published an eight page bulletin 5 on tests at 
Geneva over eight years on the control of dandelions in lawns 
through the use of iron sulfate sprays. It was found that four or 
five sprays starting in May, just ahead of the first appearance of 
dandelion blossoms, gave good control. Only four sprays were 
advised in years having unusually long dry midsummer condi- 
tions. Where these sprays were made every three years, lawns 
were kept virtually free of dandelions. It was only after the 
Japanese beetle and the European chafer became established in 
New York in the 1940s that Station staff again became involved 
with cultivated turf. This new responsibility fell to the Depart- 
ment of Entomology staff. 

In 1919, F. C. Stewart started investigations at Geneva to find 
means of controlling two virus diseases of potatoes, namely, 
leafroll and mosaic. Similar studies were initiated at Malone in 
1921. The control measures used were limited to isolated seed 
plots and to the removal, or roguing, of diseased plants. Since the 
variety of potato used at Geneva (one of the Rural class) was 
highly resistant to mosaic, this was essentially a leafroll-control 
experiment. The reverse was true at Malone, where the Green 
Mountain variety was used. While this was susceptible to both 
leafroll and mosaic, only leafroll disease was a factor at this time. 
Apparently, this project was terminated in 1924 with the publica- 
tion of Station Bulletin No. 522. 6 Stewart concluded that "while 
the isolation and roguing of the seed plot is a practice to be 
recommended, it cannot be depended upon to keep either leafroll 
or mosaic under complete control." 

In cooperation with members of the Entomology Division, stud- 
ies were undertaken by Hugh C. Huckett on Long Island to 
compare the effectiveness of fungicides and insecticides applied 
as sprays and as dusts to control fungus diseases and insect pests 
of potatoes. After four years of testing, it was reported in 1926 
and 1927 that "in each of the four years, the spray (treatments) 
gave much better results, as shown both by the appearance of the 
foliage and the yield of marketable potatoes. Both early and late 
blight were controlled fairly well by dusting, but considerably 
better by spraying." 7 An important series of spray-dust compari- 
son tests were also conducted in cooperation with the Entomol- 

188 — 

ogy Division on the control of insect pests and diseases of apple. 
(See Entomology Chapter XII) 

The State Legislature of 1922 provided a special appropriation of 
$4,000 for studies on the control of raspberry diseases and insect 
pests. W. H. Rankin, a plant pathologist, was added to the Botany 
staff and placed in charge of this new project. He pioneered the 
investigation of virus diseases of plants. He determined the 
nature of several virus diseases of raspberry in New York at a 
time when very little was known of the role of viruses as causes 
of plant diseases. He quickly learned that effective means were 
badly needed to control mosaic, a virus disease transmitted by an 
aphid. Two possibilities were tested to achieve this end: the 
annual removal, or roguing, of infected plants; and the use of an 
insecticide to eliminate the aphid transmitters of the disease. No 
appreciable control of the disease was achieved through the 
control of the aphid. In 1927, Rankin published a bulletin summa- 
rizing his findings over the 1922-1927 period. 8 He concluded that, 
while annual roguings gave fair control in western New York 
plantings, the method proved ineffective under Hudson Valley 
conditions. He expressed the belief that the only real solution of 
the problem lay in the breeding of varieties resistant to mosaic. 

Investigations in this area were undertaken in cooperation with 
the Division of Horticulture. By 1937, breeding efforts had re- 
sulted in the introduction of two highly virus-resistant red rasp- 
berry varieties, Marcy and Indian Summer. Other selections that 
were in the process of development were as promising of being 
as resistant as these named ones. 9 

The Legislature of 1925 provided an annual appropriation of 
$20,500 to the Station for studies on Canning Crop problems. L. 
K. Jones was added to the staff of the Botany Division, out of this 
fund, July 1, 1925. He resigned in 1928 to accept a more lucrative 
position in Pullman, Washington. 10 Over this brief time span, he 
was able to do little more than make surveys and appraisals of 
the diseases of a few key canning crops. Studied were peas, 
beans, and tomatoes. In 1925, Ascochyta blight of peas, anthra- 
cnose and bacterial blight of beans and Septoria leaf spot of 
tomatoes were the most important diseases of these crops. The 
Ascochyta blight caused more loss to the canning industry that 
year than any other disease. The dry summer of 1926, apparently 
accounted for the fact that disease losses to canning crops, on 
average, were minimal. An exception was the damage caused by 
the bacterial canker disease of tomatoes in one canning district. It 
is interesting to note that Rankin had prepared detailed plans for 

— 189- 

equipment to determine in the greenhouse whether or not 
weather is responsible for the great variations in losses caused by 
pea root-rot. 11 As we report elsewhere, Station scientists later 
found that seed treatments and /or crop rotations were effective 

Early in the Hedrick administration, the Station plant pathology 
program was strengthened through the appointment of J. G. 
Horsfall, February 1, 1929, and J. M. Hamilton, April 1930. 
Horsfall filled the post previously occupied by L. K. Jones in 
Canning Crops research, while Hamilton succeeded E. V. Shear, 
who was in charge of fruit disease research in the Hudson Valley. 

A limiting factor in the profitable production of peas in New 
York, which was a major canning crop in the state at this time, 
was a complex of soil organisms causing the so-called root-rot 
disease. To find a means of controlling it became Horsfall's major 
concern. Another problem studied was the damping-off disease 
of vegetables and flowers growing under seedling and trans- 
plant flat conditions. In 1932, he found that red copper oxide 
dust, used as a seed treatment, gave good control. He next tested 
this product for the control of pea root-rot and with striking 
success. By 1937, about 90,000 bushels of seed peas were treated 
in New York alone. In 1936, the average increase in stand due to 
treatment of a commonly used variety (Surprise) was 21.8 per 
cent. The division's research on the control of the damping-off 
disease also proved successful. By 1937, most greenhouse men 
were using red copper oxide dust to protect susceptible seeds of 
tomato, pepper, egg plant, cucurbits, and many other plants. In 
addition to the foregoing, Horsfall's program included studies 
on: cabbage yellows, tomato and cantaloupe wilts, Stewart's 
disease of sweet corn, and bean mosaic. Horsfall had a remark- 
ably productive 10 years at Geneva before moving to the Con- 
necticut Agricultural Experiment Station. There, he continued his 
research, later served as Station Director and was elected to the 
National Academy of Sciences. The junior author had the privi- 
lege of serving on an Academy Committee chaired by Horsfall 
from 1971-1974. 

Hamilton's initial duties from 1930 to 1934 were to conduct 
research on tree-fruit diseases, under conditions prevailing in the 
Hudson Valley district. He made Poughkeepsie his headquarters 
during the growing season, spending the balance of the year at 
Geneva. His arrival coincided with the enlargement of the 
entomological program for the Hudson Valley district, provided 
by an increase, in 1930, in the Moths and Insects Fund. P. J. 

■ — 190 — - 

Chapman, entomologist, was assigned to this new project. 
Hamilton and Chapman (entomologist) soon developed a coor- 
dinated fruit protection program for the area. The former con- 
ducted research on the control of two major apple diseases, scab 
and cedar rust. Lime sulfur was the standard fungicide used to 
control these diseases at that time. Its principal drawback was 
phytotoxicity, which caused significant yield reductions. 
Hamilton started a search for products that were both effective 
in disease control and essentially non-injurious to the fruit and 
foliage. This goal was not fully gained until years later, or when 
effective synthetic organic fungicides became available. In 1936, 
the Legislature appropriated $10,000 for "research (on) apple 
scab, cedar rust, and allied diseases of fruit crops." The grant 
made it possible to establish a statewide research program on 
tree fruit diseases with Hamilton, the coordinator, located at 
Geneva, and a new staff pathologist, D. H. Palmiter, stationed at 

Professor F. C. Stewart, Chief of the Division of Botany since 
1898, retired because of age limit on June 30, 1936 after 42 years 
of service to the Station. He was best known for work on potato 
diseases and their control. He was also well known for his 
research on wild and cultivated mushrooms as well as pioneer- 
ing work on popcorn. He discovered Stewart's bacterial wilt of 
corn, a devastating disease that is transmitted by the corn flea 
beetle. He published over 200 scientific bulletins and articles in 
scientific journals. He had served on several important national 
committees concerned with plant pathology and was president of 
the American Phytopathological Society in 1913. He was ap- 
pointed Professor Emeritus in Botany on April 24, 1936 by the 
Cornell University Board of Trustees. 12 

Plant Pathology (1936-1982): By 1936, the term "Botany Division" 
did not identify well with either of its two major activities — plant 
diseases and seed testing and related research. At its April 1936 
meeting, the Cornell Board of trustees changed the name of the 
Botany Division to the "Division of Plant Pathology" and created 
a new research unit "Division of Seed Investigations" with 
responsibility for seed research and the Seed Testing Laboratory. 
Professor M. T. Munn was named head of the new division. At 
this time, certain research responsibilities were transferred to the 
Department of Plant Pathology at Ithaca and the College of 
Forestry at Syracuse. In Geneva, the major emphasis was on fruits 
and canning crops. O. A. Reinking was appointed Chief in Re- 
search and Head of the new Plant Pathology Division, July 1, 
1936, during Director Hedrick's last year. 

— 191 — 

Most elements of the new division's programs had their origin in 
earlier legislative grants made for specific purposes. These funds 
were then re-appropriated annually. As reported in Chapter VII, 
in 1937, Director Hedrick convinced Albany to transfer most of 
these special items to the Station's basic budget. Four of these 
special grants had been made to establish sub-stations, as follows: 
the Vineyard Laboratory at Fredonia (1909); the Long Island 
Vegetable Research Farm at Riverhead (1922); the Hudson Valley 
Horticultural Investigations Program (1923); and the hop research 
operation at Waterville (1935). Except for the Hudson Valley 
program, each of the agricultural interests served by these sub- 
stations is identified by their names. The horticultural work 
conducted in the Hudson Valley in the 1930s was limited to fruit 
crop horticulture. The plant pathologist, entomologist, and their 
helpers stationed there had their headquarters at Poughkeepsie 
on the campus of Vassar College. Accounts of the sub-stations are 
found in Chapter X. 

Reinking had an unusual background for a position at the Sta- 
tion. Besides graduate and undergraduate degrees in plant 
pathology from Wisconsin, he had been employed for 10 years 
from 1922 to 1932 by the United Fruit Company where he ad- 
vanced to the position of Director of Tropical Research. From 
1932-35, he conducted private research in Europe at the 
Biologische Reichsansalt in Berlin. At Geneva, he organized the 
program of the Plant Pathology Division and conducted research 
on pea root-rot, cabbage yellows, and other soil-borne diseases. 
During World War II, he was on special assignments for the 
United States Department of Agriculture, the State Department, 
and the Board of Economic Warfare in Central America. 13 

Reinking was given a major challenge in 1936 to form a cohesive 
and strong plant pathology division. He inherited eight staff 
members ranging from a young outstanding scientist like 
Horsfall to one staff member with a Bachelor's degree. Further, 
they were scattered from Long Island and the Hudson Valley to 
Geneva. And, one of the Geneva-based plant pathologist's pri- 
mary work was on the rapidly fading hop project in Waterville. 
When Reinking retired April 30, 1950, he had only five staff 
members with two vacant positions recently vacated by two 
promising young plant pathologists. Thus, Rienking had had 
limited success in meeting his initial challenge. Even though 
some of the problems may have been due to Director Heinicke's 
dictatorial manner, Reinking also was somewhat dictatorial and 
irritated staff members. 14 He also had devoted major efforts and 
time to special war-time Government assignments as noted 

- — 192 — 

James Hamilton, who was Depart- 
ment Head of the Plant Pathology 
Department for many years and 
was instrumental in developing 
laboratory replications of field 
conditions, provided preliminary 
evaluations of new experimental 
fungicides for their potential use 
in the field. 

above. In any event, he left for his successor five staff members 
(Braun, Gilmer, Hamilton, Palmiter, and Schroeder) and two 
vacant positions, essentially the same number he started with 14 
years earlier. 

James Hamilton was appointed Head when Reinking retired in 
1950 and served until 1967. He was followed by Robert Gilmer 
from 1967 to 1972, and James Hunter from 1972 to 1983. Herbert 
Aldwinckle was named Head of the Department in 1983. 

As noted in Chapter XV, Pomology and Viticulture, the State 
appropriated $5,000 in 1935 to the Station for "hop investiga- 
tions." 15 A discussion of the background for this new post- 
prohibition effort is found in chapter XV Downy mildew was 
recognized as a major problem for hop production in New York 
State, and a research project was established in the Botany Divi- 
sion. The center of the fledgling hop industry was in Wellsville 
where investigations were conducted. R. O. Magie was appointed 
to the Plant Pathology Division November 1, 1936 and conducted 
the hop pathology research. He published a Station technical 
bulletin in 1943. Xb Magie resigned October 15, 1945. Robert E. 
Foster, appointed Assistant Professor of plant pathology March 
16, 1946, worked on the hop disease project until he resigned in 
1950. This was the end of active research on diseases of hops at 
the Station, even though some horticultural studies were contin- 
ued until 1952. New York hop growers were unable to compete 
with those in Oregon and Washington due to a more favorable 
hop growing climate in those states. 

Plant pathologists at Geneva and Ithaca made major contribu- 
tions to a basic understanding of apple scab, a major disease of 
apples in Northeastern United States and other apple growing 
areas with similar climates. During the late 1930s and 1940s, 
Wilbur Mills, extension pathologist for fruit crops located at 
Ithaca, developed a detailed understanding of the relationships of 
temperature, length of leaf /fruit wetting, and scab infection. He 
published this in the form of a graph known as the Mills Chart, 
which was used widely by growers and scientists as a basis for 
timing the application of fungicides. It was a major contribution 
that enabled more efficient and reliable apple scab control. 17 

As we have noted earlier, Geneva scientists had made major 
contributions to the knowledge of plant diseases prior to 1936 
and had developed successful control of diseases of vegetables 
and fruits with applications of fungicides. James Hamilton, 
starting in 1930, conducted fruit disease studies first in the 


Hudson Valley and later at Geneva. He helped to refine the 
Mills Chart and pioneered the development of greenhouse- 
laboratory facilities and techniques for studying the mode of 
action of fungicides used in disease control. His investigations 
established the mode of action of fungicides, i.e., eradication, 
protection, redistribution, or systemic. Hamilton is also credited 
with the discovery of ferbam as an effective fungicide for 
control of apple scab and cedar apple rust. 

In 1950, Hamilton was appointed head of the Department of 
Plant Pathology and Michael Szkolnik was hired to conduct 
research on tree fruit diseases in western New York. Hamilton 
continued to be involved in this research until his retirement in 
1969. Hamilton's and Szkolnik's investigations provided infor- 
mation vital to the understanding of the proper use and field 
performance of several groups of fungicides. Hamilton was 
instrumental in making the early plans for laboratory and 
greenhouse studies of plant diseases in the new entomology- 
plant pathology facility (Barton Laboratory) completed in 
1968. 18 Later, these were radically modified by Gilmer and his 
successor, Hunter, in 1972, to enable research in the new areas 
of the rapidly evolving field of plant pathology. 

Palmiter conducted research on diseases of tree fruits in the 
Hudson and Champlain Valley and Long Island fruit growing 
regions from 1936 until his retirement in 1969. He conducted 
field and laboratory research on apple scab, cedar-apple rust, 
black rot canker of apples, nematodes, virus diseases of apple 
and peach, bacterial leaf spot of peach, and insect vectors of 
diseases as they pertained to peaches and cherries. 19 

Szkolnik discovered a novel control of powdery mildew in 
greenhouses using the vapor activity of certain ergosterol 
biosynthesis inhibitor fungicides. When cloth or cord impreg- 
nated with these products was hung in a greenhouse, the vapors 
controlled the mildew for two to six months. R. C. Pearson 
demonstrated that a single application of any one of several 
ergosterol biosynthesis-inhibitor fungicides gave season-long 
control of powdery mildew of grapes in the vineyard. 20 

Hamilton and Szkolnik conducted research over many years on 
pesticide application equipment including dusters, hydraulic 
sprayers, and fixed outlet air blast machines. During the late 
50s and the 60s considerable research was conducted on the use 
of airplanes for the application of fungicide dusts and sprays 
for control of apple scab. This led to commercial use of high 

— 194 — 

Aerial application of fungicide 
dust for control of apple scab. 

concentrate sprays applied at very low volume by fixed wing 
planes and helicopters for control of orchard diseases. Later, 
with the development and extensive use by orchardists of fixed 
outlet air blast sprayers, careful comparisons were made of the 
efficiency of levels of concentration of pesticide from the stan- 
dard dilute to eight times (8X) concentration. The results 
showed little difference for disease control, but the higher 
concentrations were less effective for control of mites and some 
insects. The "Mistomatic" sprayer, designed only for concen- 
trate spraying, was found to have limitations, especially in 
large apple trees. 21 As noted in Chapter XII, some of these 
studies were done cooperatively with members of the Depart- 
ments of Entomology and Chemistry /Food Science and Tech- 
nology. The results of these investigations provided fruit grow- 
ers with accurate guidelines for the best use of their equipment, 
time, and money. 

Hamilton also collaborated with Pomology fruit breeder 
George Oberle on a research project to breed fireblight resistant 
pear trees. From crosses made in 1945 with resistant pears from 
the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, they obtained 
nine fireblight resistant pear trees for use in this breeding 
program. Hamilton had limited involvement in this effort. 22 

Hamilton's and Palmiter's leadership roles in the field of 
evaluating the mode of action, effectiveness and best use of 
new organic fungicides for control of diseases of pome and 
stone fruits were continued by Szkolnik and Gilpatrick. Braun, 
Pearson, Schroeder, and others made similar evaluations for 
small fruits and vegetables. 

— 195 — 

Rosario Provvidenti, world 
famous for his discovery and use 
of many genes used to make crops 
resistant to plant diseases. He was 
elected to a Liberty Hyde Bailey 
Professorship for his outstanding 

Wilbur Schroeder joined the staff in 1943 to conduct research on 
the nature and control of vegetable crop diseases. Over the 29 
years he worked at the Station prior to his sudden death in 1972, 
he made several major contributions to the New York vegetable 
industry. His discovery of a strain of pea resistant to the pea 
enation mosaic virus was largely responsible for keeping a 
sizable segment of the pea industry in New York. He collaborated 
with entomologists to develop a very effective combination 
fungicide-insecticide corn seed treatment. It has been used 
throughout the country as a standard practice and has saved the 
sweet corn industry millions of dollars. 

A. J. Braun was appointed in 1945 to conduct research on small 
fruit diseases and their control. He demonstrated that the new 
organic fungicides, ferbam, captan, folpet, and benomyl, were 
effective against the major fungus diseases of grapes. He also 
found that the relatively inexpensive wettable sulfur could be 
used effectively for disease control without phytotoxicity on all 
varieties except Concord and three minor grape varieties grown 
only in the northeastern states. Later, he initiated a new project 
on the control of nematodes on horticultural crops with Palmiter 
as co-leader. In preparation for this assignment, Braun took a six- 
month sabbatical leave at the U. S. Department of Agriculture 
Beltsville Laboratory to learn the latest developments in the field 
of nematode pests of agricultural crops. 23 

Gilmer, who was appointed assistant professor in 1950, discov- 
ered pollen transmission of necrotic ring spot and sour cherry 
yellows viruses in Prunus seeds in 1958 and from tree to tree in 
the orchard in 1960. Gilmer and J. K. Uyemoto were the first to 
find tomato ring spot virus on grape in the eastern states. Gilmer 
instituted a successful program for providing virus-free 
budwood to nurseries. 

John Natti was appointed assistant professor in the Plant Pathol- 
ogy Department in January 1951 to conduct research on the 
diseases of several vegetables including snap beans, red kidney 
beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, and corn. He devel- 
oped lines of cabbage resistant to fusarium yellows, a previously 
devastating disease. Where resistant lines of these crops were not 
available, he evaluated fungicidal control measures. Natti died in 
1970 after a brief illness. 

Rosario Provvidenti was appointed in 1955 as an Experimentalist 
to assist Schroeder after the latter 's two heart attacks the preced- 
ing year. Provvidenti did his undergraduate and graduate studies 

— 198 — 

in Italy and had been an assistant professor for three years at the 
Agricultural & Technical Institute, Siracusa, Italy before accepting 
a position with Polytron Corporation, White Plains, NY. Appar- 
ently, Station and Cornell University were reluctant to accept 
these credentials for an academic appointment at Geneva. After a 
few years, his abilities were recognized and he was promoted to 
Research Associate April 1, 1964, and to Senior Research Associ- 
ate September 1, 1973. 

Schroeder and Provvidenti initially collaborated closely on joint 
projects, but later each began to concentrate on his specialty, 
fungi and viruses respectively. Following Schroeder 's death in 
1971, Provvidenti continued his outstanding research and was 
recognized as a world class plant virologist. He was promoted to 
full Professorship in 1984 and awarded Cornell's College of 
Agriculture's highest award, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in 
1987. He was only the second Station Scientist to receive this 
recognition. While some of his many contributions were made 
after 1982 (the cut-off date for this history), he had already made 
many major contributions by this date. He had an international 
reputation as a plant virologist. He has been an AID Consultant 
to Egypt three times for three or four weeks each, to China as a 
Technical Advisor for similar periods, as well as to Israel and 
Cyprus for vegetable disease conferences. He had found and 
characterized 50 resistance genes for vegetable crop diseases by 
1991 when he retired. He is still conducting research and travel- 
ing and consulting in foreign counties as of this writing (1999). 

Station pathologists were not only leaders in the development of 
effective uses for the new organic fungicides but were among the 
first to discover and demonstrate that certain pathogens had 
evolved resistant strains. In 1969, Schroeder and R. Provvidenti 
reported resistance to benlate in powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca 

Because of the anti-pesticide attitudes that evolved following the 
publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, some readers may 
question or be concerned about the close working relations that 
Station scientists in the departments of Plant Pathology and 
Entomology have had with pesticide industries in developing 
uses for new chemicals. We relate the following incident because 
it illustrates an exception to the normal open working under- 
standing that has prevailed over the first 100 years and to the 
present time (1999) and the drastic reaction that was taken when 
an attempt was made to deviate from it. Among the several new 
fungicides that were made available and were found useful for 

197 — 

Barton Laboratory which had 
excellent laboratory and green- 
house spaces for use by entomolo- 
gists and plant pathologists. It 
was occupied in January 1969. 

control of diseases on apples during the 1960s and 1970s was an 
American Cyanamid Company fungicide, Cyprex, with the 
common name of "dodine." Szkolnik and others had found it to 
be particularly effective for the control of apple scab, and it was 
widely used by New York apple growers. After a few years of 
use, however, there were reports by a few growers that it was not 
providing good control. Szkolnik demonstrated in the laboratory 
that a strain of scab had evolved that was resistant to Cyprex and 
planned to make this information public. Two Cyanamid repre- 
sentatives came to Geneva to persuade him not to divulge this 
new information. They also approached the Plant Pathology 
department head, Robert Gilmer, who quickly ushered them from 
his office with a definite refusal. They then approached Dean 
Charles Palm who gave them similar treatment and, further, 
complained to Cyanamid Administration. The result was that the 
leader of the Cyanamid delegation to Geneva, a research project 
leader, was fired. 24 

This event illustrates the open working relationships between 
Cornell University scientists and pesticide companies in collabo- 
rative investigations of their products. In the combined 74 years 
experience of the authors of this history, this is the only known 
incident of any company representative attempting to prevent 
full disclosure of Station research information about a pesticide. 
This open collaboration has benefited the farmers of New York 
and neighboring states by providing full disclosure on the limita- 
tions as well as the benefits of available pesticides. 

As recorded in Chapter IX, a new office laboratory facility for the 
Departments of Plant Pathology and Entomology was projected 
for the Station as part of a larger expansion and updating pro- 
gram. It was completed in 1968 and occupied in January 1969. 


The Plant Pathology Department had been quartered in Hedrick 
Hall for many years prior to the construction of the new entomol- 
ogy-plant pathology facility during the late 1960s. While these 
facilities had been better than Parrott Hall, where Entomology 
had been located, the plant pathologists needed room for expan- 
sion and to develop new lines of research. Hamilton was Depart- 
ment Head during the planning and building stages and Robert 
Gilmer was the department's representative to Davis and the 
architect. The Department's objectives as outlined by Hamilton in 
1967 were to: 

A. Expand current research programs: 

1 . Evaluation of new fungicides by adding rain 
and mist chambers 

2. Establish a strong virology program with new 
modern equipment 

3. Study the dynamics of disease infections in new 
growth chambers 

B. Establish new research programs 

1 . Electron microscopy with an electron micro- 
scope, which would serve all departments 

2. Radioactive tracer study of fungicide uptake 
and translocation 

3. Fungus-bacterial genetics laboratory for 
identifying natural races of plant pathogens. 25 

During the years before construction of the new entomology- 
plant pathology building and when it was in the planning stage, 
the typical research program of the pathologists consisted of field 
experiments during the growing season and greenhouse research 
during the cold months. Because of this, Gilmer and the majority 
of the staff chose extensive new greenhouse space at the expense 
of laboratory space. Davis questioned this decision because 
additional laboratory space would be needed later and would be 
very difficult and more expensive to build. This decision did 
cause problems later when the new field of genetic engineering 
technology for producing disease resistant cultivars became a 
major effort of the department and created demands for ex- 
panded laboratory space. Later, Hunter blamed Davis for short 
changing Plant Pathology, which naturally infuriated the latter. 26 
Gilmer and faculty had not envisioned how the then new devel- 
oping scientific technologies would increase the department's 
future laboratory requirements. In fact, two new faculty positions 
were created for research in virology and fungal genetics, and a 
research associate staff position was added for an electron mi- 

— 199 — 

croscopist, bringing the staff to nine professorial and three re- 
search associate positions. 

Jerry Uyemoto was appointed Assistant Professor in 1969 and 
advanced to Associate Professor in 1974. He and Gilmer found 
the first soil-borne virus of vinifera grape cultivars, tobacco 
ringspot virus, in the eastern states in 1968. Later, they also found 
the same virus in French hybrid grapes. Uyemoto conducted 
studies of other virus diseases of fruits and vegetables before he 
resigned in 1977. 27 

Gilmer resigned from the headship of the Plant Pathology De- 
partment September 14, 1972, to accept a temporary assignment 
at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria. 
He retired August 31, 1974. James E. Hunter was appointed 
Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Pathol- 
ogy on September 14, 1972. This was the beginning of a major 
restructuring and orientation of the department under Hunter's 
leadership (1973-1982) and later Aldwinkle's term (1982-1997). 
These changes were enabled by the new entomology-plant 
pathology facility and the three new positions that came with it. 

Hunter's immediate assignment as department head was to 
reorganize the Department and build staff and research programs 
designed to meet the short- and long-term needs of the vegetable 
and fruit industries. He was successful in carrying out his man- 
date, but soon learned he had an obligation to conduct research 
to advance personally from associate to full professor. To accom- 
plish this advancement, he made several contributions to the 
field of vegetable disease management. He demonstrated that 
grower failure to control white mold of snap beans was due to 
improper timing and inadequate coverage with fungicide sprays. 
He also developed a new and more precise method for determin- 
ing when control measures are needed for white mold control. In 
cooperation with plant breeder M. H. Dickson, he identified a 
source of resistance to black rot of cabbage, a bacterial disease of 
world wide importance. 28 

Although he made other research discoveries from 1973 to 1982, 
his major contributions were in the management and develop- 
ment of the Plant Pathology Department into a balanced and 
cohesive unit covering a broad range of research and extension. 
He encouraged new technologies, more graduate students, more 
visiting scientists, and helped younger faculty. During his admin- 
istration, six good to outstanding faculty members were hired, 
which greatly strengthened the Department's programs. Later, 


An electron microscope, one of 
several new instruments included 
in the new Barton Laboratory 

Hunter was appointed Associate Director in 1986 and Director in 
1990. Herbert Aldwinkle replaced Hunter as Department Head in 

The decision to include an electron microscope facility and 
instrument in Barton Laboratory as a Station resource was insti- 
gated and promoted by Gilmer. It proved to be of great value 
over time for a number of programs and especially for plant 
pathologists in terms of providing an understanding of the 
nature and growth of plant pathogens. Andrew Grannett was 
appointed in 1969 as Senior Research Associate to the new mi- 
croscopist position but stayed only four years. 

Harvey Hoch joined the Department as a Research Associate to 
supervise the electron microscopy program at Geneva in 1974. He 
was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1977 and later to Associ- 
ate Professor and Professor. His major research effort involved 
cell biology studies of fungal-plant interactions. In 1979, Hoch 
and George Abawi reported that a Pythium disease of table beets 
could be biologically controlled with a fungus. It was later deter- 
mined that the fungus, Laetisaria arvalus, controls the disease by 
the production of a unique fatty acid, 8-hydroxy linoleic acid. 

From 1974 to 1982, Hoch collaborated with several scientists at 
Geneva and elsewhere. During the 1970s and 1980s, a plant 
biochemist, Richard Staples, at the Boyce Thompson Institute at 
Ithaca, was studying gene cloning and expression in obligate rust 

— 201 — 

Herb Aldwinckle evaluating apple 
seedlings for disease resistance in 
the greenhouse. 

fungi. In 1980, he visited with Hoch to explore plans for collabo- 
ration. Hoch met with Staples later while the latter was on 
sabbatical leave in Germany where they had made further plans 
for collaboration. This was the beginning of many years of very 
productive basic studies on how an obligate rust fungus, 
Uromyces appendiculatus, is able to find and penetrate the sto- 
mata (openings) in leaves. In a series of classic experiments, 
using micro fabricated surfaces duplicating actual leaf surface 
topography, they characterized the nature of the signals that 
orient growth towards and into the stomata. They also studied 
other plant pathogens as well as organisms of medical impor- 
tance. They were among the first biologists to use the National 
Nanofabrication Facility at Cornell University. It may be of 
interest to the reader that Staples, McNew Scientist Emeritus 
since retirement in 1991, commutes almost daily to Geneva to 
continue their very productive collaboration as of this writing 

Herbert Aldwinkle joined the faculty in 1971. He began a coop- 
erative program with Robert Lamb of the Department of Pomol- 
ogy and Viticulture to develop disease resistant apples. Their 
first successes were Liberty (released in 1978) and Freedom 
(released in 1983). Both are resistant to apple scab, cedar apple 
rust, powdery mildew, and fireblight. Later, in collaboration 
with James Cummins of the Department of Horticultural Sci- 
ences, they selected and introduced an apple rootstock, Novole, 
resistant to attacks by orchard voles (mice) and resistant to 
crown gall and fire blight. Freedom and Novole were awarded 
United States plant patents. 29 Novole is thought to have greater 
beneficial impact because it can be used for many varieties, has 
the needed horticultural characteristics, and has resistance to a 
wide range of pests. 

Roger C. Pearson was appointed Research Associate to succeed 
Palmiter as Hudson Valley plant pathologist in 1973. Three 
years later, he was appointed Assistant Professor, and a year 
later was transferred to Geneva and was replaced by David A. 
Rosenberger. At Geneva, Pearson conducted research on grape 
diseases. He discovered a new disease attacking grapes, which 
he named (Pseudopezicula tetraspora Korf, Pearson & Zhuang n. 
sp.) It was the first report of this organism and the disease in 
North America. 30 

As a result of earlier work by Hamilton and his successors on 
the environmental conditions in the orchards and vineyards that 
must occur to cause disease infections, department researchers 

— 202 — 

Dennis Gonsalves evaluating 
genetically engineered crops. 
Later, in 1995, he was awarded a 
Liberty Hyde Bailey professorship 
in recognition of his outstanding 
contributions in creating disease 
resistant crops before and after he 
came to Geneva. 

developed electronic instruments to record environmental 
conditions in the mid-1970s. Robert Seem, who was appointed 
in 1976, worked in cooperation with Michigan Agricultural 
Experiment Station personnel to develop microcomputers to 
monitor environmental conditions, determine infection periods, 
and suggest control methods. These devices later became com- 
mercially available to growers throughout the United States and 

Thomas Burr was appointed Assistant Professor in 1978 to 
conduct research on apple and grape diseases with a major 
(70%) extension component. He showed that Mutsu apple fruit 
become susceptible to blister spot, a bacterial disease, two 
weeks after petal-fall and are highly susceptible for about six 
weeks. This led to effective timing of streptomycin sprays. Later, 
he discovered that the pathogen could rapidly develop resis- 
tance to streptomycin and that resistance could be transferred to 
susceptible strains by conjugation to this and other species of 
bacteria. In 1980, he discovered that the pathogen, Agrobacterium 
vitis, the primary species infecting grape, could be detected 
systemically in healthy appearing grape cuttings and that it may 
be spread in propagation material. This led to methods for 
indexing cuttings for the pathogen and use of tip culture for 
producing pathogen-free plants. 31 

Dennis Gonsalves was appointed Associate Professor in 1977 to 
conduct research on the biochemical and genetical characteriza- 
tion of viruses infecting fruit and vegetable crops, and on the 
development of control measures for these viruses. He had 
studied at the University of Hawaii and California, Davis. He 


had five very productive years as Assistant Professor at the 
University of Florida. At Geneva, Gonsalves found that apple 
trees in western New York infected with tomato ringspot 
showed little injury whereas in the Hudson Valley and the 
lower Atlantic states there was moderate to severe injury caused 
by this virus. In the early 1980s, he and Rosenberger 32 estab- 
lished that the tomato ringspot virus caused a graft-union 
problem on apple trees propagated on MM 106 rootstock. 
Gonsalves continued in succeeding years to make many new 
discoveries and introduced resistance genes to a number of fruit 
and vegetable crops, including yellow mosaic of squash, cucum- 
ber mosaic, tomato ringspot, and papaya ringspot virus. He 
worked closely with Provvidenti in several aspects of his efforts 
on vegetable viruses. The approval and commercial introduc- 
tion of genetically engineered Freedom II squash in 1995 was 
the result of Gonsalves research. He was also responsible for 
success with the papaya ringspot virus which was destroying 
this crop in Hawaii and many other locations around the world. 
The resistant papaya were genetically engineered by producing 
viral coat protein genes and "shooting" them into cells of pa- 
paya using the "gene gun" developed at this Station 33 . Two 
resistant lines of papaya, Sunup and Rainbow, were the first 
genetically engineered fruit crops approved for commercial 
production in the United States. They were introduced in 1996. 

In recognition of Gonsalves's outstanding scientific and practi- 
cal contributions to agriculture, he was appointed Liberty Hyde 
Bailey Professor in 1995. He was only the third from Geneva 
and one of eight so honored by Cornell University at that time. 34 

The Department of Plant Pathology, by 1982, was in the midst of 
a remarkable transition from a mostly applied research unit to a 
broadly based department with pioneering research ranging 
from applied to basic studies of the development and nature of 
pathogenicity of plant pathogens. Additionally, under Hunter's 
and Aldwinkle's leadership, the department expanded its 
graduate student, post-doctoral, and visiting scientist programs. 
Also, several department members became actively involved in 
international projects. 

While much of this expanded effort was initiated prior to the 
cutoff date for this Station History (1982), major contributions 
continued after that date. For this reason, we have elected to 
include in this and other chapters brief summaries of later 
developments of significant research accomplishments that 
occurred shortly after 1982. This is done to provide the reader 


with insight into the impact and wide recognition which these 
recent projects had subsequently generated. 



To advance to a more prestigious and lucrative position as noted in Chapter II. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1912, pp. 560-561. 
Geneva Sta. Bui. 395. 
Geneva Sta. Bui. 421, 1916, pp. 311-317. 
Geneva Sta. Bui. 466, 1919, pp. 1-8. 
Geneva Sta. Bui. 522, 1924, pp. 1-14. 

Geneva Sta. Circ. 90, 1926, pp. 1-12. and Circ. 94, 1927, pp. 1-12. 
Geneva Sta. Bui. 543, 1927, pp. 1-60. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, p. 57. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1929, p. 10. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, pp. 38-39. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1936, pp. 16-17. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1950, p. 5. 

A. Braun, personal communication, October 15, 1996. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1935, p. 19. 
NYSAES Tech. Bui. No. 267, 1943, 48 pp. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 77. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, pp. 189-190. 
Hamilton, Review of Dept. Plant Path. 4/27/67 (CSRS Review document). 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 190. 
The demise of the Mistomatic was hastened when Hamilton stated at the 
annual Pesticide Conference in Ithaca: "The only use for the Mistomatic is to 
put the motor in a boat and go fishing." According to A. C. Davis' recollec- 
tion, C. E. Palm (who later became Dean and was manning the slide projec- 
tor) nearly swallowed his cigar and said: "He's a character, isn't he." 
Robert Lamb, personal communication, Nov. 11, 1996. 
P. J. Chapman, who did not believe in sabbatical leaves generally, thought 
that Braun's was the first one that was truly justifiable. 
Personal recollection, E. H. Glass. 
Hamilton, CSRS Review of Dept. Plant Path, 4/27/67. 
A. C. Davis, personal communication, 1996. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 190-191. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 191. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 191. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 192. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 192. 
David Rosenberger was appointed Assistant Professor at the Hudson Valley 
Laboratory in 1977 when Pearson was transferred to Geneva. 
The gene gun was developed by J. Sanford in the Department of Pomology 
and Viticulture and engineering associates (See Chapter XV for more 

Letter from Cornell Univ. President Rawlins to Dennis Gonsalves dated Oct. 
16, 1995. 

■—-'205 — 


Food Science and 

The new Department of Food Science and Technology was 
officially established at the Station on August 1, 1945 by 
combining the Divisions of Bacteriology and Chemistry 
The members of the staffs retained their respective professional 
titles. 1 E. H. Stotz, who had been appointed head of the Chemis- 
try Division August 1, 1943, was named head of the new division. 
The former Division of Dairying had been discontinued in 1943 
and Dahlberg and his position were transferred to Ithaca. J. C. 
Henning, J. C. Marquardt and D. C. Carpenter were transferred to 
the Chemistry Division and then to the new Food Science Divi- 
sion in 1945. Much of the background information on the forma- 
tion of the new division has been included in Chapters IX 
(Heinicke), XVIII (Bacteriology), XIX (Chemistry) and XX (Dairy). 

The Heinicke Years: 1945-1960: The establishment of a food 
science and technology unit at the Station was, in a larger sense, 
only a recognition of the very strong programs already under 
way in sanitation (plant and animal products), food preservation 
by heat sterilization or freezing, processing methods (fruits, 
vegetables and dairy products), and the taxonomy of microbes. 
Even after Dahlberg's transfer to Ithaca, there were 23 members 
of the new division listed in the 1946 Station Annual Report, 
nearly twice the size of the next largest unit. The number having 
major research leadership responsibilities (comparable to later 
adopted faculty rank) were nine chemists, five bacteriologists, 
and one dairy technologist, for a total of 15. There was no imme- 
diate change in "faculty" numbers but, by the late 1950s, there 
were 18, by the late 1960s there were 20, the number that contin- 
ued through to the end of Director Barton's administration in 
1982. The increase was needed to conduct the new investigations 
enabled by the new facilities and equipment. 

The projected new food science laboratory was delayed as re- 
ported in Chapter IX. In the meantime, the bacteriologists contin- 

— 206— 

The new Food Research Laboratory, 
which opened in 1960. Among its 
outstanding features was a two- 
story food processing pilot plant. 

ued to be housed in Sturtevant Hall, and the chemists in the 
Chemistry Building. The evaluation on feeds, fertilizers, and 
pesticides was also conducted in the Chemistry building. There 
were few changes in these physical arrangements until the new 
food science and technology building was completed 15 years 
later in 1960. 

During the early years of the new department, there was a wide 
variety of projects with little evidence of change as a result of the 
joining of bacteriology and chemistry. Breed, in collaboration 
with Hucker, Pederson, and Conn, was editing the next edition of 
Bergey's Manual. They were studying and classifying microorgan- 
isms involved in the decomposition of organic matter in soil; 
revising related groups of microbes active in sugar fermentation, 
soft rots of vegetables, and food spoilage as well as bacteria 
causing serious diseases of man and domestic animals; and 
finally those that decompose cellulose, chitinous materials, etc. in 
order to better understand the part they play in agriculture. 
Conn unsuccessfully attempted to develop a technique for mass 
production of spores of Bacillus popilliae, an important disease of 
the Japanese beetle. Conn and A. Hofer were conducting official 
inspections of legume inoculants and related problems. Conn, 
however, is best known for his earlier work on the microbiology 
of soils, his nine editions of the Manual of Methods for Pure Culture 
Study of Bacteria, and his work with biological stains as reported 
in Chapter XVIII. 2 Hucker was continuing his projects on clean- 
ing and sterilizing agents, sanitation of food and dairy plants, 
and packaging and storage of processed foods. Kertesz reported 
on his studies on pectin and pectic enzymes and their impact on 
the quality and preservation of foods. Carpenter was investigat- 
ing proteins and allied substances and their relation to food 
processing. Pederson was investigating maple products with F. 
W. Hayward, but his primary effort at this time was a study of 
making frozen fruit juice concentrates. F. Lee reported on his 
investigations on the retention of vitamins and other nutrients 
during the processing and storage of fruits, berries, and veg- 

— 207- 

David Hand, appointed Head of 
the Food Science and Technology 
Department in 1947 

etables. In addition to the above, Avens, Kokoski, and others were 
conducting analyses of commercial feed stuffs, fertilizers, and 
testing Babcock and bacteriological glassware. 3 

It is appropriate to give special recognition to Carl Peterson for his 
many contribution to food science with the following quotation 
from his obituary, written by P. J. Chapman, J. R. Stamer, and D. F. 
Splittstoesser. 4 "Carl was a world leader in food microbiology His 
areas of expertise were vegetable fermentations, the preservation 
of tomato products, sanitation in food processing, and the microbi- 
ology of fruit juice beverages. Over 200 publications resulted from 
his investigations. His book, Microbiology of Food Fermentations, 
was widely acclaimed by food microbiologists." 

It is of interest that Stotz was listed as junior colleague on three 
research projects. One was with F. G. Smith on the mechanism of 
growth hormone action on plant metabolism and the effect of 
hormone treatments on the composition of economic plants. The 
second was an effort to determine the action of hormones with 
special reference to flower bud forming substances. The third was 
with W. Robinson to select varieties of fruits and vegetables par- 
ticularly high in nutritive value. It appears that his basic training 
and interest in human physiology was being transferred to plant 
physiology in his research interests at the Station. It would be 
interesting to speculate what his impact might have been had he 
had elected to remain at the Station. 

When Director Heinicke hired Elmer Stotz in 1945 as head of the 
Chemistry Division, it was assumed he would become the head of 
the projected food science division. There were some misgivings 
among the faculty because Stotz's training and experience had 
been in human physiology. Such misgivings were eliminated when 
Stotz resigned June 30, 1947, to accept the position as head of the 
biochemistry department at the University of Rochester. 

David B. Hand was appointed Professor of Biochemistry and Head 
of the Division of Food Science and Technology June 15, 1947. He 
had trained as a physical chemist at Cornell University and had 
been a member of the Ithaca faculty from 1936 to 1942 in the 
Division of Nutrition. From 1942 until coming to Geneva, he had 
served as technical director for Sheffield Farms Inc., a large New 
York dairy company. Hand proved to be a very strong department 
head. He was very protective of the department's "turf " and 
insisted that his staff confine their efforts to food science matters, 
as noted in Chapter IX. The faculty was placed in one of three 
groups: bacteriology, chemistry, and engineering. Each was as- 

-208 — 

Pilot Plant evaluation of screw 
press and belt press methods for 
apple juice production. 

signed an area of research and then left to develop a research 
program in that field. Some thrived in this environment, whereas a 
few did not, but the total department prospered and developed a 
very impressive national and international reputation. 

The completion of the new Food Research Laboratory in 1960 was 
the fruition of many years of planning, beginning prior to Director 
Heinicke's appointment in 1942. Hucker and Tressler had been 
active in drawing the first plans which, later, were judged to be 
out-of-date and were discarded. New plans were drawn to provide 
facilities for food preservation by irradiation and other new tech- 
nologies in chemistry and bacteriology. David Hand and James 
Moyer played a major role in developing the new plans. They 
visited facilities on several other campuses throughout the country 
to learn the latest developments in the field of food science and 
incorporate them in the new plans. Ground breaking for the new 
building took place October 4, 1957. It was dedicated May 5, 1960, 
with Governor Nelson Rockefeller in attendance. This ceremony 
was followed on May 6 with a symposium on Food and Health 
chaired by D. B. Hand. Featured speakers were from: the Institute 
of Nutrition, Vanderbilt University, Council of Food and Nutrition, 
American Medical Association, Office of the Surgeon General, and 
Chancellor Emil Mrak from the University of California, Davis. 

The new food science facility was considered to be one of the most 
complete food research laboratories in the United States. It con- 

- — 209 — 

James Moyer operating the tomato 
hot break processor that he de- 
signed to make tomato juice. 

tained 60,000 square feet of laboratories and an 8,500 square foot 
two-story pilot processing plant. It also contained ample equip- 
ment for bacteriological and chemical research, taste panel evalu- 
ation rooms, and storage spaces for foods at wide ranges of 
temperatures. Of special interest was a 6,000 curie cobalt source 
for food irradiation studies. The pilot plant had all the necessary 
equipment needed for processing of fruits and vegetables. For the 
first time, the Food Science and Technology faculty was housed 
in one building. 

In 1972, a Raw Products storage building was constructed for use 
by food scientists and others at the Station with similar needs. 
This new facility enabled processing research to be conducted 
over extended periods after harvest. And finally, in 1980, the 
Station's "Stone Barn" was converted into a facility for housing 
laboratory animals used in the toxicology studies on foods and 

David Hand resigned as head of the Food Science Department 
January 1, 1967, and retired exactly one year later. He had been a 
successful and strong leader of the Department for 20 years. By 
this time, some of the problems in food science had been solved 
and there were shifts to other emerging fields. Director Barton 
chose an internal candidate, Willard Robinson, as acting Head on 
January 1, 1967. He was named Head one year later. Robinson 
had developed a strong research program and was an effective 
collaborator in wine research on problems of the rapidly expand- 
ing New York grape and wine production industries. He was 
well liked and respected by his colleagues in and outside his 
department. He provided excellent leadership for 15 years until 
his retirement on June 30, 1982. 

A large study involving six professors in Food Science and Veg- 
etable crops was undertaken in the 1950s to improve the quality 
of tomato products in New York State. The objectives were to 
measure the effects of cultivar, growing conditions, and methods 
of processing on the flavor, texture, color, and nutritional value of 
tomato products. The prevention of spoilage by flat sour bacteria 
was also studied. Much valuable new information was obtained. 
Unfortunately, much of the tomato processing industry moved 
out of New York and adjoining states, mainly to California, to 
avoid problems related to late ripening of tomatoes in the north- 
eastern region. 

Some of the more basic research in the department was con- 
ducted by F. P. Boyle, R. W. Holly, and E. Sondheimer. Boyle, a 

— 210 — 

plant physiologist, studied photosynthesis, flower bud formation, 
and plant growth hormones such as 2-4-D. Sondheimer's projects 
included studies on the compounds in cabbage that were inhibi- 
tory to bacteria. Holly studied various organic constituents of 
plants including some of the flavor compounds in grapes and the 
degradation and synthesis of polypeptides. This latter activity is 
thought to have led to his interest and research on RNA, which 
ultimately resulted in his move to Ithaca and his award of the 
Nobel prize. 5 

Numerous studies were conducted to determine the impact of 
processing procedures on the yield and quality of fruits and 
vegetables preserved by canning, freezing, and dehydration. J. C. 
Moyer, R. L. LaBelle, W. B. Robinson, A. C. Wagenknecht, and 
others studied the canning and freezing of peas, cherries, apples, 
and other fruits and vegetables. A grant from the U.S. Army 
Quartermaster supported a study on the dehydration of peas, 
snap beans, and apples. An eight-member team, including faculty 
from the Vegetable Crops and Pomology Departments, con- 
ducted this study. 

Only a modest amount of grape research was conducted in the 
new department during the Heinicke years (1942-1960). Robinson 
and Pederson shared a project on the processing of Concord 
grape in which quality was related to clones and cultural condi- 
tions. The work involved fermentation trials. Pederson investi- 
gated the use of organic acids to prevent yeast growth in Concord 
grape juice when stored in refrigerated large tanks. When L. R. 
Mattick joined the staff in 1957, he and Robinson investigated the 
chemistry of the Tressler baking process for making sherry from 
Concord grape wine. 

A number of projects dealt with the texture of foods, an impor- 
tant quality of processed vegetables and fruits. During Zoltan I. 
Kertesz's tenure at Geneva from 1929 until 1962, he investigated 
problems in processing foods, especially the role of calcium and 
pectins on the quality of foods. J. P. Van Buren studied the consis- 
tency of peach purees. Kertesz and J. P. Van Buren investigated 
the texture of canned snap beans with special reference to the 
problem of skin sloughing. 

Kertesz was one of the most respected food scientists of his time. 
He published 160 papers in this field prior to his resignation in 
1962. About half of these dealt with the subject of pectin chemis- 
try He also published a book entitled, The Pectic Substances. In 
addition to his laboratory research, he became involved in the 

— 211 — 

practical application of pectin chemistry to the problems of fruit 
and vegetable processing. He was successful in developing the 
industrial use of clarifying enzymes for the production of fruit 
and vegetable juices, and the use of calcium salts to firm canned 
vegetables, for which he received an award from the National 
Canners Association. In his last few years at the Station, Kertesz 
investigated the use of ionizing radiation as a means of food 
preservation, a process that he believed could be a significant 
factor in enhancing the world food supply. He published 12 
papers on the effect of atomic radiation on plant and animal 
components, with emphasis on polysaccharides. 6 

The reader may question why a successful scientist like Kertesz 
was not selected to lead the new department of Food Science 
when it was established in 1945. The answer is not clear-cut but 
seems to revolve about Kertesz's narrow focus on his immediate 
interests and lack of support from his colleagues and administra- 
tion. Director Heinicke was still oriented to Ithaca and Hand was 
well known, liked, and supported by Dean W. I. Myers. 7 

Following retirement from the Station, he held the position as 
Chief, Food Science and Technology Branch, Nutrition Division, 
FAO, with headquarters in Rome, Italy for four years prior to 
transferring to the United Nations New York office. He was 
awarded the Institute of Food Technologists' coveted Interna- 
tional Award in 1967. 8 Kertesz was active in world health and 
nutrition problems and worked with the United Nations. His 
monograph, The Pectic Substances, published in 1951, is a classic 
widely cited by pectin chemists. He served on numerous national 
and international committees and delegations. 

During the 1950s, C. S. Pederson continued his studies on lactic 
acid fermentations. G. J. Hucker had responsibility for studies on 
sanitation in fruit processing plants. K. H. Steinkraus investigated 
the Howard mold count procedure as it might be applied to small 
fruits. Additionally, he initiated a project on the sporulation of 
Bacillus popilliae, a pathogen of the Japanese beetle. D. F. 
Splittstoesser investigated the relationship of sanitary practices in 
processing plants to the microflora in frozen vegetables. 

The state-mandated inspections and analyses of commercial 
fertilizers (1896), feedstuffs, economic poisons (including pesti- 
cides (1908), and testing Babcock and bacteriological glassware 
had been the responsibility of the former Chemistry Department. 
These were continued in the new Department of Food Science 
and Technology through the Heinicke years under the supervi- 


sion of A. W. Avens (Feed, Fertilizer, and Lime) and G. L. Mack 
(Economic Poisons) with assistance from a research associate and 
several technicians. 

The establishment of the Station as a horticultural research 
institution, and the transfer of all dairy and other animal activi- 
ties to the Ithaca campus without the involved faculty created a 
lack of teaching expertise for some areas of food science at Ithaca. 
This proved to be critical in food science related to fruits and 
vegetables. No doubt, Hand's Cornell background made him 
sympathetic to such needs. In 1957, Holley organized a course in 
food science just before he moved to Ithaca to the U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Laboratory. 
Shallenberger then assumed responsibility for the course. He 
taught this course and supervised the department's teaching role 
until his retirement in 1988. Both received their Ph.D. degrees in 
chemistry from Cornell University and were familiar with the 
regulations and organization of the graduate school. Other 
faculty from the Department have taught courses or part of 
courses from time to time from 1957 to the present (1999). 

No one in the new Food Science and Technology Department had 
any officially recognized extension responsibilities. Just as in 
other Geneva Station departments however, most food science 
faculty members were involved in some extension activities with 
processors and farmers relative to the quality of raw and pro- 
cessed foods. There was much need for assistance because there 
was no extension presence in Ithaca in the fruit and vegetable 
processing field. As we shall see in the next section, this defi- 
ciency was soon addressed and corrected. 

The Barton Years: 1960-1982: These were especially good years 
for the Food Science and Technology Department in terms of 
facilities, staffing, and financial support. Not only did the depart- 
ment have a new and well-equipped office /laboratory facility, it 
also was able to add five additional faculty positions over the 
next two decades. Most of these were enabled by the State Uni- 
versity of New York system and the State University of New York 
Construction fund as noted in Chapter X. 

It was also the period when new remarkably efficient chemical 
analytical equipment was being developed and available for use 
by chemists. They were very expensive until some years later. 
Mattick was asked to equip a centralized laboratory with these 
devices for use by department chemists. This was thought to be 
the most efficient and economical way to make the best use of 

213 — 

these new devices. As it turned out at Geneva and other institu- 
tions, the concept proved to be inefficient and cumbersome. 
When Mattick went on sabbatical leave in 1969, Terry E. Acree 
was placed in charge. He began to decentralize the analytical 
laboratory by moving the equipment to the laboratories where 
needed. Also, by that time, prices had dropped and such items as 
gas chromatographs could be purchased for laboratories where 
they were needed routinely 

The food processing industry in New York and other states under- 
went extensive changes during and after the 1942 to 1982 period in 
response to several developments. In the 1940s, there were many 
small family owned operations located near sources of their raw 
products. Capital investments were small, and there were rela- 
tively few state and federal regulations. During the following 
decades, both federal and state regulations and taxes increased 
with the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, 
stricter Food and Drug requirements, and higher taxes and energy 
costs. Small processors could not absorb the increased costs and 
closed operations or sold out to larger operators. Also, with im- 
proved transportation facilities, processing plants could be located 
farther from the raw product sources. The clientele of the Station's 
food science effort went from many small operators to fewer large 
firms, which hired the professional experts needed to cope with 
the new production and marketing requirements. Many of these 
experts were trained at Geneva. Although the department had no 
official commitment to extension prior to 1962, many faculty 
worked closely with companies and food organizations whenever 
problems arose. Food scientists maintained close contact with the 
New York State Canners and Freezers Association. One extension- 
like activity was the annual mold count school for tomato products 
that was held annually by the department from 1938 through 1960. 
These were discontinued only when tomato processing ceased to 
be a significant industry in the State. 

It was not until Donald Barton became director of the Station in 
1960 and actively sought an officially recognized extension 
presence at Geneva that such approval was given in 1962 for a 
position in the Department of Food Science and Technology. This 
action was instigated by Hand and had the full support of Dean 
Palm and food industry leaders. D. F. Farkas was appointed 
Assistant Professor of Food Processing Extension, September 1, 
1962. He had earned his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology in food engineering. His charge was to keep the food 
industry aware of current processing methods; to alert the indus- 
try to major changes likely to affect their competitive positions; to 


Donald Downing, Extension 
Professor of Food Science, and 
some of the food products that had 
been submitted to his laboratory 
for analysis. 

act as a central contact between industry, Cornell University, 
USDA laboratories, and other research organizations; to alert 
Cornell researchers to industry problems; and to conduct pilot 
plant demonstrations of new technologies and organize confer- 
ences on subjects of concern to food processors. Farkas carried 
out an active extension program including frequent meetings 
with commodity committees, organized symposia including one 
on Clostridium botulinum, and carried out various applied re- 
search projects. He resigned in February 1967 to accept a position 
with the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

D. L. Downing, who had studied food science at Georgia, was 
appointed to the extension position in 1967. By then, many of the 
food company mergers referred to above had taken place with 
the result that there were fewer but larger food processing com- 
panies, and working with commodity committees had become 
less effective than formerly. Also, new government regulations 
related to food safety and environmental contamination became 
important concerns. Additionally, the expanding New York State 
wine industry was in need of assistance. Downing organized 
many extension conferences, including annual wine workshops, 
training programs for FDA food inspectors, microbiology short 


Robert Shallenberger lecturing on 
the theory and molecular structure 
of sugars. 

courses, training to certify pesticide applicators, and sanitation 

A botulism outbreak involving a commercially canned soup in 
1971 resulted in the Food and Drug Administration mandating 
that retort supervisors be trained in the microbiology and tech- 
nology of canning. Downing initiated a five-day Better Process 
Control School in 1974 to meet this new requirement. The school 
has been held each year until the present (1999). 

In earlier flavor chemistry research, R. W. Holley isolated and 
identified some of the compounds that contribute to the flavor of 
the Concord grape. 9 

Shallenberger was hired in 1955 and assigned to study the carbo- 
hydrate chemistry of raw and processed foods. Among his 
contributions were a number of practical findings that were put 
to use by farmers and processors. There had been a problem of 
knowing the optimum time to pick apples for processing for 
juice, slices, and sauce. In collaboration with interested parties, 
Shallenberger established the optimum sugar /acid ratio for 
picking apples for processing. Another contribution was finding 
the ingredient in dry beans that causes flatulence. He determined 
that it was an essential component of the bean that could not be 
eliminated but could be reduced. He also found the component 
causing an off-flavor in pureed beets and how to eliminate it. 

But perhaps Shallenberger 's most creative research was on 
sugars and other sweeteners. He became interested in the rela- 

— 216— 

Terry Acree and technician Robert 
Butts operating the olfactometer 
(used toidentify the chemistry of 
odors) that Acree developed. 


tionship between the molecular structure of sugars and their 
sweet taste. In 1961, he went to the University of California, 
Berkeley to study this concept. While there, he met a chemistry 
student, Terry E. Acree, who shared his interest and enthusiasm 
for this study and was interested in taking graduate studies. 
After discussion with Hand, Acree was offered and accepted a 
graduate research assistantship at Geneva to study with 
Shallenberger. This proved to be a very productive relationship. 
They published their classic paper that related sweet taste to 
molecular structure in 1967. 10 It provided a structural template 
for a functional group and stereo (shape) chemistry for sweet 
tasting molecules. This was the first successful effort to relate 
atoms and molecules to sensory perception. At that time chemi- 
cal industries were investing millions in research to find non- 
fattening sweeteners as sugar substitutes. Industry was some- 
what hostile and attempted to discredit the new structural 
template, but eventually it was validated and accepted. Their 
finding greatly aided the synthesis of new sweetening agents. 
As recently as 1996, a post doctoral student came to Geneva to 
work with Shallenberger and Acree in the latter 's laboratory to 
synthesize a new sweetener based on their concept. She accom- 
plished the task in two months. Industry had spent years and 
millions of dollars in random searches for artificial sweeteners. 
Shallenberger published two books on sugar chemistry prior to 
retirement and one on taste chemistry after retirement. 11 Acree 
was offered and accepted an assistant professorship in the 
department upon completion of his Ph.D. in 1968, an exception 
to Cornell's policy of not employing its new graduates. 

— 217 — 

Acree concentrated his research efforts on the identification and 
chemistry of flavors and off-flavors of foods and beverages. In 
1976, Acree, his technician Robert Butts, a graduate student 
Richard Nelson, and a colleague C. Y. Lee published a design for 
a new olfactometer, a device that combined pure humid air with 
precise doses of odorants. This was connected to a newly avail- 
able high resolution gas chromatograph and was named a GC/O 
(gas chromatograph — olfactometer). For the first time, it was 
possible to identify and isolate chemicals that cause good and 
bad flavors in foods for the purpose of increasing the quality of 
foods and beverages. The GC/O can also be used for products 
other than foods. This new technology was available in the early 
1980's and led to the development of a technology transfer 
company that manufactured and sold GC/O instrumentation 
world wide. 

Mandated inspection and analytical chemistry programs were 
continued under the supervision of Avens (feed, fertilizer, lime) 
and Mack (economic poisons, including pesticide formulation 
registration) until their retirements in 1967 and 1971, respectively. 
The work was then supervised by John Bourke. The economic 
poisons program was canceled by the Department of Environ- 
mental Conservation in 1973, the fertilizer in 1991, and the feed in 
1995 by the Department of Agriculture and Markets. 

From the late 1800s until the mid-1930s, state and federal laws 
concerning pesticide use and risks were developing. By the mid- 
30s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U. S. Department 
of Agriculture, and the New York State Department of Agricul- 
ture and Markets had developed a system of regulations for the 
agricultural use of pesticides. Avens and Mack conducted re- 
search elucidating the residues of the materials found in food and 
assisting the crop production departments in developing safe and 
effective methods for the use of these mostly inorganic materials. 
With the introduction of organic pesticides in the 1940s, they 
shifted their emphasis to determining the mode of action, disap- 
pearance from crops, and crop residues of these new materials. 

In 1956, following the amendment of the Food, Drug, and Cos- 
metic Act, the FDA was authorized to set tolerances, based on 
effective use, for pesticide residues on agricultural commodities. 
It was, therefore, necessary to determine residues and their 
disappearance following harvest. In response to this need, Avens 
and Mack, along with D. J. Lisk from the Ithaca Campus devel- 
oped the Pesticide Residue Laboratory program with both state 
and federal aid. This program was integrated into a regional 

— 218- 

program, which coordinated the work of the various agricultural 
colleges in the northeast. In 1963, the regional programs were 
further integrated into a national federally funded program 
known as IR-4 (Interregional Research Project # 4). In 1965, J. B. 
Bourke assumed responsibility for the Geneva Pesticide Residue 
Laboratory and served as Liaison to the IR-4 project. 

With the formation of Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, 
and the transfer of all pesticide regulatory responsibilities from 
FDA, the IR-4 program was greatly expanded in 1975 to meet the 
increased need for residue analyses required by the new agency. 
Four regional analytical laboratories were established, the north- 
east being at Geneva with Bourke as Director. Between 1975 and 
1982, the program developed data to support pesticide registra- 
tions in ornamental crops and the registration of biorational 
agents. Support was also made available for field research neces- 
sary to produce the commodity samples needed for analysis. In 
1981, responsibility for developing residue data for minor use 
animal drugs was added to the IR-4 project. 

Mack was interested in the environmental effects that pesticide 
use might have and developed the early data on levels of DDT 
and its metabolites in fish and animals, soil, and water. His work 
led to alterations in the use patterns of the early chlorinated 
pesticides, which sharply reduced potential risks. At his retire- 
ment, Bourke continued this work, emphasizing soil residues, 
applicator and field worker exposure, pesticide waste manage- 
ment and residues in surface runoff, ground water, and soil 
residues following various application and cultural techniques. 

Several food science investigators made use of the new pilot 
plant to study a variety of processes. J. C. Moyer investigated 
vacuum canning of apple slices, drum drying of pea purees, the 
use of enzymes to increase yields of fruit juice, and the 
dehydrofreezing of red cherries. G. D. Saravacas conducted basic 
studies on distillation, concentration, and essence recovery of 
fruit juices. M. A. Rao initiated projects on energy conservation in 
commercial canning and freezing, heat transfer, and the deforma- 
tion and flow of liquid foods. 

During the 1960s, efforts were under way to develop machines to 
mechanically harvest grapes, apples, cherries, snap beans, and 
other vegetables. As reported in Chapter XV, an interdepartmen- 
tal team of Geneva and Ithaca scientists successfully developed 
mechanical harvesting of grapes. From Food Science and Tech- 
nology, J. C. Moyer and M. C. Bourne evaluated processing and 

— 219- 

Experimental wines bottled at the 
Geneva Experiment Station under 
the label of Geneva Cellars. 

quality, and D. F. Splittstoesser related microbiology of the 
harvested fruit to shelf life. The total effort was very successful. 
Soon, the majority of New York grapes were mechanically 

J. L. Stamer continued the research on lactic acid bacteria and the 
sauerkraut fermentation following C. S. Pederson's retirement in 
1967. He also collaborated with M. H. Dickson, breeder in 
Vegetable Crops Department, in developing a new high solids 
cabbage variety for use in making sauerkraut. It resulted in 
increased yields with significant reductions in waste brine. It 
was a major accomplishment. 

K. H. Steinkraus studied a variety of third-world fermented 
foods. He and his students conducted research on the microbiol- 
ogy of tempeh, fish paste, peanut press cake, idli ontjom, tape 
ketan, and uji. 

The Station has had a major impact on the grape and wine 
industries of New York State for many years. Horticulturists and 
engineers have not only determined optimum site and cultural 
requirements for consistent high yields of quality grapes and 
methods and equipment for mechanical harvesting, but also 
have developed new varieties to produce top quality juices and 
wines. And, as we have reported elsewhere, Tressler developed 
and patented a new baking procedure to convert surplus Con- 
cord grape wine to a very potable sherry. The Department of 
Food Science and Technology contributed significantly to the 
industry during the Heinicke and Barton years. 

Robinson and Pederson collaborated on a project to determine 
the relationship of the quality of processed Concord grape 
products to clones and cultural conditions. Pederson investi- 
gated the use of organic acids to prevent yeast growth in Con- 
cord grape juice when stored in large refrigerated tanks. As 
reported earlier, Mattick and Robinson investigated the chemis- 
try of the Tressler baking process for making sherry from Con- 
cord grape wine. 

A major wine research program was initiated in 1955 in coopera- 
tive research projects of W. B. Robinson (food scientist) with 
John Einset (horticulturist) on the suitability of grape cultivars 
for wine production. As reported in Chapter X, Director Barton, 
Hand, and administrators from Ithaca had been successful in 
enlisting the interest and support of New York wineries in 
collaborating with and providing financial support for wine 

— 220 — 

Evaluation of experimental wines 
at one of the many workshops held 
for New York's rapidly growing 
wine industry. 

research. A Technological Advisory Committee was established in 
1964. 12 Robinson served as chairman for many years. The pur- 
pose of the committee was to provide a forum for the exchange of 
information and a means to gain funding for wine research. 
Active members included the following wineries: Brotherhood, 
Canandaigua, Gold Seal, Mogen David, Monarch, Pleasant 
Valley, Taylor and Widmer. Semi-annual meetings were held in 
the Food Research Laboratory conference room and at various 
wineries. These activities produced inputs of technology, guid- 
ance and financial support for research on wine at the Station. 

The Farm Winery Legislation, which lowered taxes, was passed 
in 1976. This, plus research and extension information from the 
Station, enabled the establishment of 87 new farm wineries in 
New York State over the next two decades. Total production of all 
120 wineries was over 25 million gallons. There were 33,000 acres 
of vineyards in New York State producing table, juice, and wine 
grapes in 1996. 13 Robinson and staff and the New York State 
Department of Agriculture and Markets organized the first 
commercial wine competition in the eastern part of the United 
States. Robinson and the Commissioner of Agriculture served as 
co-chairmen. The size of the competition increased each year as 
the number of farm wineries proliferated. 

During the post World War II decades, claims were being made 
that wines made from hybrid grapes were toxic to laboratory 
animals and, thus, potentially dangerous to humans. These 
claims were based on feeding experiments on poultry conducted 
in Europe. If true, the New York wine industry would have been 

-221 -— 

devastated. Robinson was successful in securing a new position 
for a toxicologist in 1967 and appointed Gilbert S. Stoewsand 
September 1, 1967. Stoewsand's research showed clearly that 
hybrid grape wines had no ill effects on poultry. But, more impor- 
tant, he demonstrated that the European negative results were 
caused by a nutritional deficiency in the experimental diets rather 
than by wine toxicity. As a result, the successful Station hybrid 
grape program was continued and the industry prospered. 

Stoewsand also studied the possible activity of natural food 
constituents on the inhibition or enhancement of carcinogenesis. 
He demonstrated that diets of cruciferous vegetables inhibit 
tumor formation in experimental animals. 14 Stoewsand, in col- 
laboration with D. J. Lisk, Toxic Chemical Laboratory at Ithaca, 
studied the effects of disposing such wastes as fly ash and munici- 
pal sludge on crop lands. They found that heavy metals could 
contaminate plants and cause serious problems. 

Some additional significant wine research done by the Station's 
food scientists from 1960 to 1982 included: cultivar evaluations 
(W. B. Robinson), methods for reducing acidity (L. R. Mattick), 
grape pigments (G. Hrazdina), Flor sherry fermentation (H. L. 
Luthi), wine spoilage microorganisms (D. R Splittstoesser), 
browning reactions (C. Y. Lee) and flavor chemistry of grapes and 
wines (T. E. Acree). 

As noted earlier in this chapter, Kertesz had conducted tests in the 
late 1950s on the effect of ionizing irradiations on pectic sub- 
stances using the University of Rochester irradiation facility. With 
the installation of the cobalt-60 source in the new food science 
laboratory, the studies were transferred to Geneva. After L. M. 
Massey joined the faculty in 1958, studies were made on the 
effects of irradiation on the physiology and preservation of fruits 
and vegetables. This research was funded by the Atomic Energy 
Commission, National Institutes of Health, and the U. S. Army 
Quartermaster Corps. A number of post-doctoral scientists partici- 
pated in this research. The conditions that minimized adverse 
quality changes were defined, and the effect of ionizing irradia- 
tion on pectins and other plant polysaccharides were elucidated. 

The early enthusiasm for the potential of irradiation for sterilizing 
and preserving foods began to fade when its limitations and its 
real and imagined hazards became known. Outside financial 
support ceased and irradiation research at Geneva was aban- 
doned. The cobalt source, however, (now at a much reduced 
potency) still remains in place at the Station as of 1999. 

- — 222— 

Steinkraus continued his research on Bacillus popilliae, a pathogen 
of the Japanese beetle. Its use as a control agent is limited because 
it forms spores only in live beetle grubs, which limits its availabil- 
ity for use in controlling the beetle. Steinkraus, Conn, and others 
elsewhere have been unable to induce sporulation under fermen- 
tation conditions. Stamer investigated the physiology of lactic acid 
bacteria with the objective of developing improved media for 
culturing difficult-to-propagate strains. Splittstoesser investigated 
heat resistant strains of molds that were involved in a number of 
spoilage incidents in fruit beverages, baby foods, and pie filling 

Much research on the nutritive value of fruits and vegetables had 
been done earlier. During this period, L. R. Hackler investigated 
the protein quality of different foods. C. Y. Lee researched the 
effects of processing on vitamins A and C. His studies on the 
methodology for measuring food vitamin A indicated some 
serious errors in the analytical procedure, and that the vitamin A 
content of many foods was lower than had been reported. 

The increased concern for environmental quality and the new 
restrictive regulations of waste disposal enacted during the 1960s 
forced food processors to improve their waste handling proce- 
dures. Several projects were initiated to help fruit and vegetable 
processing companies find solutions. These included: surveys of 
waste water volumes and waste concentrations generated by 
different unit operations (Y. D. Hang, D. L. Downing, and D. F. 
Splittstoesser), yeast fermentation to reduce BOD (biochemical 
oxygen demand) and acidity of sauerkraut brines ( Y D. Hang), 
ozone and other non-biological treatment processes (R. H. Walter), 
dry caustic peeling of root crops to reduce the volume of liquid 
waste (C. Y Lee and D. L. Downing), feasibility of feeding apple 
pomace to dairy cows (R. H. Walter), and solid state fermentation 
of apple and grape pomace (Y D. Hang). 

With the development of a strong and varied food science and 
technology program at Geneva, it was not unexpected that some 
members would become involved in international activities. 
Dahlberg of the Dairy Division was involved in such activities in 
the late 1920s when he studied the dairy industries of countries in 
Central America. 15 

Several members of the Department participated in one or more 
aspects of international human nutrition programs. The primary 
support for these studies came from U. S. AID and UNICEE A 
major study in the 1960s was concerned with the production of 


soy milk and other high protein foods for infant feeding pro- 
grams in developing countries, including the Philippines. M. C. 
Bourne, J. P. Van Buren, R. L. LaBelle, and Y. D. Hang conducted 
studies on processing. K. L. Steinkraus investigated bacterial and 
fungal fermentations. L. R. Hackler investigated the nutritional 
value of these products. Inasmuch as soy beans were not a major 
crop in New York State, local food processors were not com- 
pletely sympathetic with this program. Neither was Director 
Barton who had to justify the activity locally and in Albany. 

A number of Station faculty members were involved in govern- 
ment and private foundation funded international agriculture 
activities, especially in developing countries. Food scientists were 
in much demand. In the early 1960s, D. B. Hand, K. H. 
Steinkraus, W. B. Robinson, J. P. Van Buren, and Z. I. Kertesz 
participated in nutritional surveys of Far Eastern and Latin 
American Countries. Later, Steinkraus, Pederson, and Bourne 
participated in one- and two-year assignments at the College of 
Agriculture at the University of the Philippines supported by the 
Ford Foundation. Other activities included organization of 
various conferences in developing countries and the hosting of 
many foreign graduate students and visiting scientists. Other 
Station departments participated in similar activities but to a 
lesser extent. 



NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1946, p. 13. 
Personal communication, Donald Splittstoesser. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1946, pp. 25-35. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, 1987-88, p. 72. 
See Chapter IX for more information on Holley and his departure from 

NYSAES Ann. Rpts. 1963, p. 29, and 1969, pp. 73-74. 
Much of this assessment is from Willard Robinson, personal communica- 
tion, September 4, 1997. It is supported also by evidence gained over the 
years by the junior author in contacts with several food scientists. 
Necrology of the Faculty of Cornell University, pp. 21-22, 1968-1969. 
Holley conducted studies on polypeptides and on the structure of RNA (See 
Chapter IX for further details). 

Shallenberger, R. S. and T. E. Acree, 1967. Molecular theory of sweet taste. 
Nature (London) 216 (5114): 480-2. abs. 

Shallenberger, R. S. and G. G. Birch, 1975. Sugar Chemistry. Avi Publishing 
Co., Westport, CT. pp. 221, Shallenberger, R. S., 1982, Advanced Sugar 
Chemistry. Avi Publishing Co., Westport, CT, 323 pp. 
Shallenberger, R. S., 1993, Taste Chemistry. Blackie Academic and Profes- 
sional, London, 613 pp. 
Barton Oral History, 1983, pp. 49-50 
NYSAES Station News, Geneva 7/26-8/2/96, p. 3. 
100 Years of Agr. Res. at Cornell University, 1887-1987, p. 179. 
Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, pp. 35-36. 

— 224— ~ 


Pomology and 

Group of apple pickers in an 
orchard with very large Baldwin 
trees in Monroe County, NY, late 

Harvesting apples from dwarf 
trees developed by Station plant 

The word horticulture embraces the science of cultivated 
plants including fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals. 
During the first years of the Station's existence when 
Sturtevant was director, all plant studies were conducted by the 
horticulturists without distinction or organization according to the 
kinds of plants. In 1896, when Director Jordan first organized 
research by divisions, he included both fruits and vegetables in the 
same unit, i.e., "Division of Horticulture." This terminology was 
continued until 1930 when Director Hedrick divided Horticulture 
into two divisions: "Pomology" and "Vegetable Crops," as shown 
in the research organizational chart in Chapter XL Beginning with 
Director Jordan's administration in 1896, the history of the 
Station's activities on fruits is found in this chapter. Vegetables are 
included in Chapter XVI, "Seed and Vegetable Crops." Some 
preliminary notes on activities in both fields are included in 
several chapters in order to provide perspective on the total 
horticultural effort at the Station. 

Director Sturtevant arrived in Geneva February 28, 1882 and took 
possession of the Station on March 1. His assistant, H. H. Wing, 
also arrived on the first day. A study of Wing's activities during his 
first year 1 indicates he had a good background in horticulture. On 
March 17, 1882, Emmett S. Goff arrived to serve as horticulturist. 
While he had no college degree, it is evident from his work that he 
had a good knowledge of practical and scientific horticulture. 2 He 
can be rightly considered the first professional employed by 
Director Sturtevant. The next professional, S. M. Babcock, Ph.D. in 
chemistry from Cornell and post doctoral studies in Germany, 
arrived July 1, 1882, and completed the professional staff for the 
first year. 3 

In spite of this small staff and the March start-up date, a remark- 
able amount of work was accomplished that first year as attested 
by the 156-page 1882 annual report. The following Duties of the 


Horticulturist, established by the Director in 1882, suggest that 
there was good reason for such productivity: 

"• Keep the garden tool-room in tidiness and the tools 
clean and in place. 

• Have charge of the lawns. 

• Have charge of the fruit trees. 

• Have charge of the garden and green-house in their 
multitudinous relations. 

• Report every night to the director the work done, its 
amount and character. 

• The horticulturist will also be expected to take full notes 
of every operation in the garden, observations concern- 
ing growth, insect appearances and damage, effect of the 
weather, temperature of the soil at time of planting, 
appearance of bloom, edible maturity and of seed matu- 
rity, and in general of every matter of near or remote 

• The horticulturist will also take charge of such special 
work as may be assigned to him by the director. 

• The horticulturist will do all the important and scien- 
tific work with his own hands, or have it done under his 
immediate supervision. 

• The horticulturist will report to the director nightly, 
leaving his note books and taking them again in the 
morning." 4 

Less critical attention was given by the horticulturist to varietal 
studies of the tree fruits than to vegetables and field crops be- 
cause of the limited number of fruit plantings on the property 
(643 apple, 97 peach, 77, pear and 37 cherry trees), 5 and the time 
lag between their planting and fruiting. Some time was saved for 
apples by top-working some of the trees in the existing orchard. 
In 1883, 90 varieties of apples were top-grafted onto some of 
these trees. It was not until 1888 that appreciable fruit was pro- 
duced on these grafts. Almost every year, starting in 1882, some 
plantings were made of varieties of strawberry, bush fruits, 
grape, and all of the tree fruits. 

In the first year, experiments were conducted on field and veg- 
etable crops including: barley, maize (corn), potato, forage crops 
(16 kinds of sorghum were obtained from Professor Peter 
Collier, 6 Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC), alfalfa, 
lucerne, 58 varieties of beans, nine varieties of beets, eight variet- 
ies of carrots, 29 varieties of turnips, four varieties of onions, 
English frame cucumber, eight varieties of musk melon, 12 


varieties of watermelon, 17 varieties of squash, 28 varieties of 
cabbage, 16 varieties of sweet corn, 10 varieties of lettuce, two 
varieties of celery, 11 varieties of peppers, seven varieties of 
tomato, and 31 varieties of peas. Observations were made on 
days to vegetation, bloom, harvest, and other pertinent develop- 
ments. Thus, the Station made an impressive beginning in its first 
year in the field of horticulture on fruit, vegetable, and field 

As bearing plantings of the tree fruits became available on the 
Station's grounds during the late 1880s and early 1890s, there was 
a gradual shift of emphasis from vegetable and field crops to the 
fruits. By 1896, the varietal plantings of the various fruits had 
reached impressive numbers. As of July 1 that year, there were 
2,823 varieties of 16 kinds of fruits. It perhaps can be said that by 
1896 research on fruit crops had become the dominant interest of 
the horticulturists. 

By 1901, the Station had amassed 19 years of detailed records on 
several thousand varieties of fruits and vegetables. S. A. Beach 
and Director Jordan must have pondered over what should be 
done with this information. The latter observed "such a mass of 
facts (like this) is too valuable to lie unused." 7 It must have been 
around 1900 that a decision was made to use this information as 
the basis for the preparation of one or more publications on the 
varieties of the several fruits. In the master plan adopted, the first 
fruit selected for treatment was apple. In preparing this opus, 
Beach and assistants N. O. Booth and O. M. Taylor drew heavily 
on the Station's varietal records. But, growers and others pro- 
vided valuable information together with samples of fruits. The 
Apples of New York was published in 1905 as a supplement to the 
Annual Report of 1903. It consisted of two hard-cover volumes 
totaling 769 pages. Treated were 646 varieties of apple of which 
the fruits of many were illustrated, some in color. This publica- 
tion represents an important milestone in American pomology 
and won wide acclaim. It is regarded today as a treasured classic 
of the pomological literature. 

On September 1, 1905, Beach resigned to become Head of the 
Department of Horticulture at the Iowa Agricultural College. He 
could hardly have made a more appropriate parting gift to New 
York orchardists than The Apples of New York. 

Early Station horticulturists assumed responsibility for disease 
and insect control. The validity of this concept apparently was 
not questioned seriously until some time after entomologist Lowe 

-■*>—■ n *y rj ,._^ imtr . 

and botanist Stewart came to the Geneva Station in 1886. In fact, 
Director Sturtevant had assigned responsibility for insect pests 
and diseases to horticulturist E. S. Goff in 1882. Beach, over his 
entire period of service (1891-1905), maintained an active interest 
in disease and insect problems. Thus, even as late as 1899, we 
find him publishing the 65-page bulletin No. 170, entitled Com- 
mon Diseases and Insects Injurious to Fruits. Lowe and Stewart were 
made junior authors in this instance. Beach's last such publica- 
tion, appearing in 1903, was the profusely illustrated 56-page 
bulletin No. 243, entitled Spray Mixtures and Spray Machinery. 
Neither Stewart nor Parrott were among the authors of this one, 
but Beach does note they had been consulted. 

One should not conclude some kind of a power struggle existed 
here. Beach was merely continuing to follow a long established 
practice among earlier horticulturists. Actually, entomologists 
and microbiologists prior to the 1900s were concerned with and 
studied the taxonomy of insects and microorganisms rather than 
their control. Eventually, this "problem" solved itself. Beach's 
successor, U. P. Hedrick, seemed content to leave such work in 
the capable hands of botanist Stewart and entomologist Parrott. 

In 1903 and 1904, Beach established three small apple orchards 
consisting of trees grafted on two kinds of French dwarfing 
rootstocks. These tests were located in Columbia, Onondaga, and 
Orleans Counties. After Beach's departure in 1905, Hedrick kept 
these plantings under observation until 1915. The results ob- 
tained were disappointing to him. Mistakenly he saw little future 
use, commercially, for dwarfing rootstocks. 8 

When U. P. Hedrick 9 was appointed Horticulturist in 1905, he 
inherited some long-term departmental commitments. The best 
known of these, and one of great interest to him, was the plan of 
publishing what was known about the varieties of the various 
fruits. The model for this publishing venture, The Apples of New 
York had been published in 1905 as noted above. Under Hedrick's 
leadership, six additional fruit books were realized over the 1908- 
1925 period. Handsomely printed on folio-sized pages, these 
hard-cover volumes were (with their date of publication), the 
following: The Grapes of New York (1908), The Plums of New York 
(1911), The Cherries of New York (1915), The Peaches of New York 
(1917), The Pears of New York (1921), and The Small Fruits of New 
York (1925). 

When Sturtevant retired as director in 1887, he left at Geneva an 
1,800-page manuscript entitled Notes on Edible Plants. Apparently, 

— 228 — 

Station fruit breeding exhibits at 
the New York State Fair, 1951. 

this manuscript remained untouched until U. P. Hedrick under- 
took its editing. Precisely when this occurred is not known. 

Besides this manuscript, Hedrick made use of information ap- 
pearing in the first six Geneva Station Annual Reports, a series of 
Sturtevant articles appearing in the American Naturalist, and 
information written on between 50,000 and 60,000 index cards. In 
1919, Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants was published under the 
editorship of Hedrick. It is of interest that Hedrick expressed his 
gratitude to his associates in the Horticultural Division for their 
assistance, and "especially to J. W. Wellington 10 who had charge 
of standardizing botanical names, verifying references, and 
preparing the bibliography." 11 This 686-page book became one of 
that elegant series of the Geneva Station's Fruit Books of which 
Hedrick was senior author. 

Hedrick also inherited three long-term orchard projects. Answers 
were sought in these to the following questions: (1) Does an apple 
tree thrive and perform better under tillage or sod conditions? (2) 
Does it pay to use a fertilizer, annually, in an apple orchard? (3) Is 
it commercially feasible and desirable to grow apples on dwarf- 
ing rootstocks? 

To find an answer to the first of these questions, Beach initiated 
studies in 1903 in the W. D. Auchter orchard near Rochester and 
another in 1904 in the Grant Hitching orchard south of Syracuse. 
Tillage in these experiments involved plowing in the spring 
followed by cultivation to late July when a cover crop was 
planted. Sod culture consisted of the maintenance of a grass 
mulch formed by mowing the grass once or twice each summer, 
as needed. After Beach resigned, both experiments were contin- 
ued by his successor, U. P. Hedrick. In 1909, Hedrick published a 

— 229 — 

The Station apple exhibits were 
always popular, but especially so 
at dismantling time. 

preliminary report on the Auchter Experiment. He found the 
trees under tillage here had given distinctly better results than 
those in sod. But, he said, "The experiment does not show that 
apples cannot be grown in sod. There are many orchards in New 
York which would prove the contrary. It suggests, however, that 
apples (can) thrive in sod not because of the sod but in spite of it. 
... The statement is often made that trees can become 'adapted to 
grass.'... (But) trees can hardly become adapted to thirst, starva- 
tion, asphyxiation, and poison." 12 

Separate final reports on the two experiments were published in 
1914. Hedrick maintained in both of these publications that 
tillage was the preferred practice to follow in most of New York's 
commercial apple orchards. Apparently the Hitchings orchard 
was one of the exceptions. He found here that there was no 
appreciable difference in crop yields, fruit coloring, etc. between 
sod and tillage. Part of this experiment, however, was located on 
relatively flat land; the other part, under hillside conditions. In 
the latter situation, he decided sod might be preferred owing to 
the dangers of soil erosion under tillage conditions. 13 

Reported above was the language Hedrick used in 1909 in pro- 
claiming his support for tillage over sod. He made a similar 
attack in 1914 on the existence of so many unsprayed, untilled 
"roadside" orchards over the state. He wrote: "Grass makes apple 
trees sterile and paralyzes their growth — it is the withering palsy 
of the apple industry in New York. It is the chief cause of the 
decrepit, somnolent, moribund orchards to be seen by the road- 
sides — in all parts of the state. Cider mills and evaporators 
thrive on sod-grown apples. The small, gnarly low-grade apples 
sent to the market from the orchards in sod have so displeased 

— 230- 

the eye and palled the appetite of consumers that they are bring- 
ing discredit to the apple industry of the state. The average 
orchard in sod is a liability rather than an asset to the owner." 14 

Despite this spirited display of rhetoric, Hedrick probably won 
few, if any, new converts to tillage, and for several reasons. Even 
he conceded many New York sod growers were producing 
satisfactory crops. And, on the other hand, some tillage growers 
complained about their inability to produce properly colored 
fruit. Then, concerning the sad state of the roadside orchards 
Hedrick referred to above, most of these were the survivors of the 
orchards that were planted on virtually every New York farm 
prior to about 1890. Most of their owners produced enough 
usable fruit for home use and often enough additionally to sell to 
cider mills or dryers. However, these benefits apparently were 
considered insufficient to justify the costs of spraying and tillage. 
Eventually, most of these orchards were cut down, and the land 
they covered became used for other purposes. Apparently, the 
question of how best to manage the orchard floor had remained 
unresolved up to this time. 

In 1896, a small apple orchard of the Rome variety was planted 
on the Station's ground for the express purpose of determining 
whether or not it paid to apply a fertilizer annually in an apple 
orchard. The soil in this site was a Dunkirk clay loam — heavier 
than the best New York apple lands. Tillage was the cultural 
practice followed here. As in the tillage-sod experiments, it 
consisted of tillage to late July, and then the planting of a non- 
leguminous cover crop. Four fertilizer compositions were tested 
against untreated trees, as follows: stable manure; acid phos- 
phate; acid phosphate combined with muriate of potash; and acid 
phosphate and muriate of potash combined with nitrate of soda 
and dried blood. The fertilizers were first applied in 1899, and 
thereafter annually through 1923. Upon the termination of the 
study that year, Hedrick and H. B. Tukey concluded: "The practi- 
cal outcome of the fertilizer test is that in the average western 
New York orchard that is well cultivated, properly drained, and 
sufficiently supplied with organic matter and humus by means of 
cover crops, commercial fertilizers are not needed." The authors 
did concede that "in sod orchards it has been shown repeatedly 
that nitrogen carrying fertilizers are beneficial, and that the 
results are measurable in hundreds of per cent instead of in 
tenths of one per cent. ... The point is that in this orchard, which 
is representative of dozens of others in western New York, the 
application of commercial fertilizers has been a waste of both 
time and money" 15 This rather casual observation is noteworthy, 

-*—- 231 "■*"" 

for except for the use of an herbicide to control vegetation under 
trees, it essentially fits the apple orchard floor management 
practice commonly followed today (1980s -1990s). 

According to Heinicke, there was "a friendly controversy be- 
tween the pomology staffs at Cornell and Geneva." Experiments 
at Ithaca conducted by Chandler in collaboration with the De- 
partment of Soils, demonstrated that the optimum practice was to 
use sod culture with supplemental nitrogen fertilization. "That 
research provided the scientific information which was the basis 
for changing the prevailing practices of orchard soil management 
in New York and throughout the country." 16 Apparently and 
strangely, Hedrick and associates had not evaluated this combi- 
nation. Nor, did they recognize that the sod /fertilizer practice 
was more compatible with growers' overall orchard management 

Although varieties of the various fruits had been planted on the 
Station's property annually since 1883, it was not until about 1887 
that a breeding program was included in this effort. It consisted 
initially of the planting of open pollinated seeds and then main- 
taining the resultant seedlings to their fruiting. The first con- 
trolled apple crosses were made in 1898. Of particular interest 
was the cross made that year of the Ben Davis and Mcintosh 
varieties. Out of a population of 11 seedlings, one was selected in 
1911 and named by Richard Wellington. The name given it was 
Cortland. Trees of this cultivar were first made available to fruit 
growers in 1915. As of 1990, it was the most important cultivar, 
commercially, of all those introduced by the Geneva Station. 17 

Hedrick was very enthusiastic about the fruit breeding program 
and encouraged his staff to participate. In fact, he became overly 
enthusiastic. "He fell into the very tantalizing trap of naming 
varieties before they had been fully tested. He introduced 12 new 
varieties of apples in 1914 and in 1915 an additional six new 
apples. Today, our standards of evaluation before introduction 
are much more stringent." 18 None of these 18 introductions 
became commercial varieties. Hedrick's naming of new varieties 
occurred prior to the establishment of the Fruit Testing Associa- 
tion, which provided greater opportunities for evaluations prior 
to naming and introductions. 

In spite of Hedrick's previously mentioned limitations as a 
practical scientist, he was a very effective spokesman for the fruit 
industry and was very popular with fruit growers. He assisted in 
the unification of the New York State Fruit Growers Association 


Richard Wellington collecting 
apple buds for making crosses to 
produce new and improved fruit 

and the Western New York Horticultural Societies into the New- 
York State Horticultural Society in 1919 and was elected its first 
president. As reported in Chapter VII, even in later years when 
Hedrick was director and in very poor health, fruit growers were 
concerned with his lack of leadership but would not criticize or 
make any move to have him replaced. In spite of Hedrick's 
limitations in applied research that we have noted, he deserves 
the following accolade of his associates: "His colleagues at 
Geneva and Ithaca and throughout the nation will remember and 
honor him as a distinguished scientist, scholar, historian, and 
gracious gentleman." 19 

Richard Wellington was appointed Assistant Horticulturist in 
1906 at the age of 22 following receipt of his B.S. degree from 
Massachusetts Agricultural College. It was the beginning of a 
long and distinguished career at the Station 20 until his retirement 
in 1953. He earned his master's degree in genetics at the Bussey 
Institute of Harvard University in 1911. 

At Geneva, Wellington did fruit breeding on all fruits but concen- 
trated on grapes. As noted earlier, he had the distinction of 
introducing the Cortland apple in 1915, a cross of Ben Davis and 
Mcintosh made in 1898. It increased in importance over the years 
and by 1965 was the third most important apple in New York 
State. 21 When Hedrick was appointed director in 1928, 
Wellington was promoted to Professor and made Head of the 
Division of Pomology. 

In 1918 a non-profit fruit nursery organization was established 
for the purpose of introducing new fruits deemed worthy of trial 
by the Geneva Station. The name given it was the New York State 
Fruit Testing Cooperative Association (FTA). 22 This venture 
proved highly successful for many years in providing new 
varieties to its members, to growers, and to nurseries for further 
evaluations. It continued operation through the 1980s, but was 
becoming a burden to the Station in the early 1990s and was 
closed in 1995. 

Richard Wellington was a fruit breeder in the old tradition, but he 
had a good background in genetics and a very detailed knowl- 
edge of varieties and a keen sense of the inheritance of good 
qualities of fruits and vegetables that were useful in breeding 
quality plants. In his years at Minnesota, he was the first to 
demonstrate the hybrid vigor and increased yields obtained by 
crossing tomatoes. He also originated several varieties of hot- 
house lemons. At Geneva, he was instrumental in the develop- 

233 — 

merit of 21 apple varieties including Macoun, Lodi, Early Mcin- 
tosh, and Kendall; Gorham pear; two red and one black raspber- 
ries; the Stanley prune; and 13 grape varieties, including Buffalo, 
Steuben, and Keuka. 

Professor Wellington gained wide recognition in his field. He was 
a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science. He was elected to Sigma Xi and Kappa Sigma. The 
Massachusetts Horticultural Society honored him in 1937 with 
the Society's gold medal and again in 1949 with the coveted 
Jackson Dawson Medal for outstanding fruit hybridization. His 
most prestigious honors were the Wilder Medals given to indi- 
viduals and organizations that have rendered outstanding service 
to pomology. A Wilder Medal was awarded to the Station in 1947, 
another to Richard Wellington personally in 1954, and to the New 
York State Fruit Testing Association in 1959. Professor Wellington 
was considered to be one of the most outstanding of the Station's 
fruit breeders that brought worldwide recognition to Geneva for 
its contributions to fruit breeding and culture. 23 

Other new horticulturists who joined the staff for significant 
periods during Hedrick's term as division head from 1905 to 1929 
were: George Howe, 1910-1955; Fred E. Gladwin, 1913-1940 
(superintendent Fredonia Vineyard Laboratory); James Harlan, 
1918-1954 (high nicotine tobacco for insecticides, hop varieties 
and culture); Harold B. Tukey, 1920-1940 (rootstocks, president of 
American Society for Horticultural Science); and George Slate, 

Professor Tukey joined the staff in 1920 in charge of the horticul- 
tural research program in the Hudson Valley until 1924 when he 
was transferred to Geneva with responsibility for the fruit root- 
stock research program. He was promoted to Chief in Research 
(later designated Professor). Geneva pomologists were among the 
first to conduct rootstock research in the United States and were 
instrumental in convincing apple growers generally to adopt 
size-controlling rootstocks by the 1980s. 24 As noted in Chapter 
VII, Tukey promoted unsuccessfully the establishment of a new 
department of rootstock research. His ambition for an administra- 
tive position was satisfied eventually in 1945 when he accepted 
the position as Head of the Department of Horticulture at Michi- 
gan State University. 

The sixth of the Geneva Station's famed fruit books, The Pears of 
New York, was available for distribution in 1923. The seventh 
volume, The Small Fruits of New York, was issued in 1926. The 

— 234- 

The Hudson Valley Laboratory at 
Highland, NY. 

Division's fruit-breeding program also continued to grow. From 
1905 to 1927, about 75,000 seedlings of various fruits were pro- 
duced, and out of these, 85 varieties were found good enough to 
name. These new varieties were made available to commercial 
and amateur fruit growers through the New York State Fruit 
Testing Cooperative Association. 

A major new research program on problems of canning crops was 
initiated as a result of the passage of the Canning Crops bill in 
1925. It was assigned to the Division of Horticulture. C. B. Sayre 
was added to the staff and placed in charge of this new program. 
One of the earlier actions taken was to rent a 60-acre tract of land 
near Geneva for conducting work on vegetable-canning crops. 
Two combination fertilizer-rotation experiments were started in 
1927. One involved a five-year rotation of tomatoes, stringless 
beans, beets, wheat, and clover in comparison with the continu- 
ous plantings of tomatoes. The second test was a four-year 
rotation program using sweet corn, cabbage, peas, and clover 
compared to the continuous planting of peas. Twenty-one differ- 
ent fertilizer treatments were applied to each of these crops. 
Other studies on tomatoes included variety testing and improve- 
ments achieved through selection and breeding. On peas and 
sweet corn, comparisons were made on the relation of seed size 
to yield, quality, and uniformity of the crop. Considerable atten- 
tion was also given to testing of the commercial seed peas being 
offered to the state's canning industry. About 200 strains of peas 
were critically examined each year. These efforts produced some 
very important practical findings that improved vegetable pro- 
duction in New York and other states. Further information is 
found in chapter XVI (Seeds and Vegetable Sciences). 

The State Legislature of 1925 passed a bill authorizing the prepa- 
ration of a series of monographs on vegetables comparable to 
those published by the Station on hardy fruits. Inasmuch as the 
vegetable research was still part of the Horticultural Division, this 
new obligation fell to that group. Varietal studies with several 

-2.'55 — 

vegetables had been under way for many years. Hedrick was 
still head of the Division and took the leadership role in this 
new endeavor until the last book of the fruit series was pub- 
lished several years later after a new vegetable division had 
been established with Sayre as head. There had been much 
discontent among the vegetable workers when Hedrick took 
credit for the vegetable books. Professor Sayre made it clear that 
this would change for the next series. "After that we had no 
more appropriations for the Vegetables of New York." 25 

Hedrick was appointed Director of the Station in 1928 following 
Director Morrison's transfer to Ithaca. As noted in Chapter VII, 
Director Hedrick engineered several changes in the Station's 
organization. In 1930, the Board of Trustees granted authority to 
sub-divide the Horticultural Division into the Division of Po- 
mology and the Division of Vegetable Crops. Richard 
Wellington, Chief in Research (Horticulture) was made Chief in 
Charge of Pomology and Charles B. Sayre, Chief in Research 
(Vegetable Crops) was made Chief in Charge of Vegetable 
Crops. 26 Further activities in vegetable research are found in 
Chapter XVI. 

Fertilizer experiments were conducted on grapes at Fredonia 
and on grapes, apples, and cherries in the Hudson Valley area. 
These studies were conducted by local Fredonia and Hudson 
Valley personnel, often under guidance or collaboration with 
Geneva Staff. It was quite evident in all of these tests that nitro- 
gen was the primary fertilizer need of these fruits. From 1912 to 
1927, pruning experiments had been conducted on tree fruits 
and grapes. The studies included comparisons of heavy and 
light pruning, summer and winter pruning, and low and high 
heading of the trees. For 15 years, comparative studies had been 
made of budding and grafting of apple trees. As in past years, it 
was found that both methods gave about equal results. A sec- 
ond propagation experiment was concerned with top-working 
several standard apple varieties on young Northern Spy trees 
and on French crabapple. Now in its 15th year, the study 
showed better results were being obtained with the latter stock. 
In a third propagation experiment, buds were obtained from the 
highest- and lowest-producing Rome apple trees. Those derived 
from the highest yielders gave better yields, but only slightly 
better. The Station had for many years carried out studies to 
determine the value of various stocks for grapes, apple, plum, 
and cherry. It was concluded that of the two stocks used for 
cherries, Mahaleb and Mazzard, the latter clearly was the pre- 
ferred one to use, both for sweet and for tart cherries. 


As noted in Chapter VIII, the Station prospered during the 1930s 
in spite of the Great Depression, due in part to the close relation- 
ships Director Hedrick had with the administration in Albany. 
The research programs in the new Division of Pomology pros- 
pered and expanded. The following lines of research evolved: 
hop investigations, tree fruit breeding 27 , tree fruit nutrition and 
culture, rootstock breeding and culture, grape breeding and 
culture, small fruit breeding and culture, cytology /cytogenetics, 
and the Fruit Testing Association. 

During the 1928 to 1982 period, many of the staff were specialists 
in one area of research but also conducted some research in one 
or more other specialties. Older staff members, such as 
Wellington, were involved in several areas. 

The State Legislature, in 1935, appropriated $5,000 to provide 
research assistance for a renewed agricultural venture — hop 
culture, which was developing after the repeal of prohibition. In 
1932, there were only six hop growers in the state and the collec- 
tive plantings occupied only 27 acres. But strong demand had 
developed for New York-grown hops and, by 1937, the foregoing 
numbers had increased to 65 growers and 220 acres. The very 
important hop disease problems were assigned to the Botany 
Division (see Chapter XIII). The responsibility for research on hop 
varieties and culture fell to the then Division of Pomology, spe- 
cifically James D. Harlan. 

The hops program goals were to: (1) ascertain the extent of hop 
culture in New York state, (2) establish an experimental hop yard 
in the Waterville hop-growing area where the more promising 
and desirable varieties could be propagated, (3) collect, evaluate, 
and propagate hops from world-wide sources, and (4) devise 
new methods to propagate native stocks using green wood 
cuttings to aid in quickly disseminating desirable materials. 28 

The Station established a two-acre experimental hop yard in 
Waterville, Madison County, where most of the state's hops were 
being grown. A permanent trellis was installed, which enabled 
efficient spraying practices and cultural modifications and the 
propagation of desirable stocks for commercial planting through- 
out the state. It was used also for both horticultural and disease 
control investigations. 29 

Even though considerable progress was made in both the cultural 
and pest control aspects of hop culture in New York, it became 
evident that there were serious problems in both these areas 


associated with the climate that made production here both 
erratic and relatively expensive. Production eventually became 
centered in western states, especially Oregon. Even though the 
hop investigation project was listed in the Station Annual Reports 
until 1952, little or no research was done in the preceding five 
years. 30 

As noted earlier, tree fruit breeding at Geneva was strongly 
encouraged administratively by Hedrick and Wellington. A series 
of tree fruit breeders made an impressive record of success from 
the 1930s through the 1980s. We present here those that did this 
work along with some examples of their successes. 

Associate Professor George H. Howe contributed mainly by 
describing fruit varieties and seedlings from 1910 to 1955. 31 Olav 
Einset was an Associate in Research in the Division from 1924 to 
1939. He conducted research to determine cross- and self-incom- 
patibilities in fruit varieties. As reported in Chapter VIII, he was 
on leave in his native Norway when Station funds were scarce, 
and he was summarily told not to return because his position had 
been discontinued. He was the father of Professor John Einset 
who became a member and, later, Head of the Pomology Depart- 

Associate Professor George D. Oberle was a fruit breeder at 
Geneva from 1938 to 1948. He resigned to accept a position as 
horticulturist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1948 Virginia. 
More appears elsewhere in this book about his accomplishments. 

Robert C. Lamb conducted tree fruit breeding research during his 
tenure at Geneva from 1948 to 1988. He collaborated with plant 
pathologist Herb Aldwinkle to incorporate plant pathogen 
resistance into fruit trees. 32 They co-authored 14 scientific publi- 
cations on their work from 1976 to 1985. This research appears to 
have been the earliest major effort to incorporate disease resis- 
tance into apples. The two resistant varieties that were named 
and released, Liberty and Freedom, have been accepted for home 
gardens and commercially for organic and sustainable produc- 
tion. They do not have all the qualities required for the regular 
fresh fruit and processing markets. No doubt, however, this 
project was a major step toward eventually finding a successful 
combination of commercial qualities and disease resistance. 
Lamb also conducted preliminary research with an entomology 
graduate student, Marvin Harris, on crosses of an oriental pear 
(resistant to pear psylla) with susceptible European commercial 
varieties. Harris' 177 page thesis, Host Resistance to the Pear Psylla 


in New York. 33 provided the basis for further research to success- 
fully develop horticulturally marketable pears with psylla resis- 
tance. In the early 1980s, Lamb collaborated with Fiori (Depart- 
ment of Entomology and ARS., SEA, USDA) to develop histologi- 
cal methods for determining seedling resistance to pear psylla. 34 
Lamb's psylla resistant germplasm has subsequently been used 
by the U. S. Department of Agriculture's pear breeding team at 
Kearney sville, West Virginia. Lamb retired in 1988. He was well 
known as a successful and innovative breeder. He served as 
president of the American Pomological Society, 1981-1982, and 
was awarded the Wilder Medal from that Society 

Leo Klein was appointed Research Associate in the Department 
of Pomology in 1949 to take over the apple breeding program 
following Oberle's resignation. He made "great progress" until 
1962 when he died suddenly of a heart attack in his gladiolus 
garden at home. Klein had earned a Masters degree at Cornell. 
His thesis, The Inheritance of Certain Fruit Characters in the Apple, 
was published in 1958. 35 

Kenneth W. Hanson was appointed Assistant Professor April 1, 
1954 to conduct breeding research on peaches and apples. He 
resigned in 1960 to accept a position as Director of the Missouri 
Mountain Grove Fruit Experiment Station. 

The appointment of Roger D. Way to the Geneva faculty as 
Assistant Professor in 1953 in the Department of Pomology was 
the beginning of a very successful career in fruit breeding. His 
early work was with cherries. After Klein's death in 1962, he 
assumed responsibility for the apple breeding program. The 
Head of the Pomology Department, John Einset, provided funds 
and labor to expand the program. By 1976, there were more than 
25 miles of rows of apple seedlings at three-foot spacing (approxi- 
mately 40,000 trees) on 100 acres. 36 Way introduced 10 new 
varieties of apple before his retirement in 1983. These were: 
Niagara, Wayne, Spigold, Empire, Jonagold, Spijon, Jonamac, 
Burgundy, Geneva Early, and Early Cortland. 37 Of these, Empire 
proved to be the most successful. It was planted widely in New 
York State and was the third most important variety by the 1990s. 
It has also been planted extensively in other apple growing areas. 
The Jonagold was well received as a fresh market and processing 
variety. It has become the major variety in Europe because of its 
superior quality. Way published a Station bulletin in which he 
described the 52 apple varieties which the Station had introduced 
from 1914 to 1968. 38 Way was careful not to "fall in the trap" of 
being "overly enthusiastic" until all the needed evaluations had 

— 239— 

been completed on new selections. "Today in 1984, our standards 
of evaluation before introduction are much more stringent." 39 Way 
was also a historian for his department. The manuscript, A History 
of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva, by Roger D. Way, has not been 
published, but a copy can be found in the New York State Agricul- 
tural Experiment Station main library in Jordan Hall. The Ameri- 
can Pomological Society awarded Way its Wilder Medal in 1982. 

Professor Reginald C. Collison joined the staff of the Division of 
Horticulture when the Division of Agronomy was discontinued in 
1929 and became a member of the Division of Pomology when it 
was established a year later. He had been working at the Station 
since 1912 as a chemist conducting research on soils. From 1943 
until retirement in August 1945, he was Professor of Pomology. He 
conducted research on several projects including the preparation 
of artificial manure from straw. His major early projects involved 
lysimeter research; the fertilization and nutrition of tree and small 
fruits and grapevines; and soil management of fruit plantings with 
emphasis on control of erosion by cover crops, sods, and mulches. 
His research findings were influential in determining soil manage- 
ment and fertilization practices in New York's plantings of tree and 
small fruits. Professor Collison was recognized for his awareness 
and use of emerging technologies such as Russian lysimeters 
beneath apple trees, use of randomized blocks and analysis of 
variance in 1927, and tree injections to study tree fertilization in 

Following retirement in 1945, Collison and his wife moved to 
Geyserville, California, where he trained for lay missionary work. 
They traveled extensively, primarily in Africa, for three decades of 
missionary work. Professor Collison died June 25, 1983 after a life 
span of 99 years. 40 

Associate Professor Lester C. Anderson conducted fruit variety 
testing, orchard fertilizer, and culture experiments during his 
tenure from 1927-54. 41 He was located at Claverack, NY, and 
conducted his research in the Hudson Valley. He published three 
papers in 1953 on the value and use of fertilizers in several meth- 
ods of soil management of peaches, plums, and small fruits in the 
Hudson Valley. 42 Indirectly, Professor Anderson was responsible 
for the original crosses that resulted in the Empire apple. 43 Further 
information is provided in the account of the Hudson Valley 
Branch Station. 

Associate Professor Otis F. Curtis Jr., Ph.D., was a member of the 
Department of Pomology from 1946 to 1980. He conducted 


research on the proper use of herbicides in fruit plantings. He 
also collaborated with P. J. Chapman and S. E. Lienk on a detailed 
study of the impact of mite feeding on apple foliage on the 
quantity and quality of the fruit. This collaboration resulted in the 
first quantitative data on this question. 44 He also collaborated 
with E. H. Glass, M. Szkolnik, and J. M. Hamilton on a five-year 
field experiment to determine the possible impact of insecticide- 
fungicide combinations used to control apple insect and mite 
pests on apple productivity and quality. The results were re- 
ported in three papers from 1955 to 1957. 45 Curtis' research 
provided a number of significant practical benefits for fruit 
growers. He retired in 1980 and died in 1988. 

Professor John C. Cain, Ph.D. was a member of the Pomology 
staff from 1946 through 1973. He investigated mechanical prun- 
ing and harvesting of fruit trees as well as tree and orchard 
designs. He also researched fruit plant nutrition. Cain and his 
graduate student, B. G. Chan, published a seminal paper on the 
effect of seed formation on the subsequent flowering of apple. 
They determined that it is the seeds, not the fruits, that inhibit 
flower initiation on apple spurs. 46 Cain was one of the pioneers in 
elucidating the role of localized requirements for sunlight expo- 
sure in tree canopies. This laid a foundation for later modern 
orchard systems development. Cain was recognized by his peers 
when he was elected to a term as president of the Northeast 
Branch of the American Society for Horticultural Science. He 
retired in 1973. 

Chester G. Forshey was appointed Assistant Professor in 1954 to 
Professor Anderson's position in the Hudson Valley. Unlike 
Anderson, he joined the entomology-plant pathology group at 
Poughkeepsie and conducted most of his field research in com- 
mercial fruit growers' orchards. Forshey's emphasis was on 
pruning, crop control by thinning, and regulation of tree growth 
by growth regulating chemicals. Over his more than 36 years of 
service to growers, he made many valuable contributions, espe- 
cially in solving practical problems, for which growers were very 

Alan N. Lakso, a plant physiologist from the University of Cali- 
fornia, Davis, was appointed in 1973 to replace Cain and to 
research the physiology of tree fruits and the mechanical harvest- 
ing of apples. He studied the relationships of tree training sys- 
tems on water relations, light utilization, and photosynthesis 
rates in apple leaves. In collaboration with Ithaca agricultural 
engineers at Cornell, he studied the efficiency of mechanical 


harvesting of apples from various tree training systems. The 
studies of tree physiology later led to improved understanding of 
the bases of productivity of apple orchards and to the develop- 
ment of the "palmette leader" tree form that has been useful to 
the New York fruit farmers. 

Professor Lakso has been active in national and international 
scientific organizations and meetings. The American Society for 
Horticultural Science awarded him (with F. S. Davies) the J. H. 
Gourley award in Pomology in 1980. The same year he was given 
the Senior Research Fellowship, Agricultural University, 
Wageningen, The Netherlands. 

Hedrick published Station Bulletin 406 in 1915 reporting many 
years of work on rootstocks, which his staff had done. Hedrick 
was aware of the limitations of the experimental testing and was 
pessimistic about their practical value in commercial orchards. 
He wrote "The test has not been such that a safe conclusion can 
be drawn as to which stock makes the most productive or- 
chard." 47 In spite of the lack of success in these early experiments, 
Hedrick encouraged and supported his staff to conduct addi- 
tional research on dwarfing rootstocks while he was Division 
head and Director. As a result of these efforts, Professor Way was 
able to write: "Beginning about 1915, Geneva Pomology was one 
of the first to do rootstock research in the U. S. and we have been 
a leader in rootstock research ever since. By 1984, much of the 
U. S. apple industry had shifted to using size-controlling 
rootstocks. The techniques for using these stocks were first 
formulated in our Pomology research." 48 

Harold B. Tukey was hired in 1920 to conduct fruit research in the 
Hudson Valley. He was transferred to Geneva in 1927 to take 
charge of the rootstock research. Tukey was enthusiastic about 
the potential of dwarfing rootstocks while at Geneva and at- 
tempted unsuccessfully to establish a new division for rootstock 
research. He left the Station in 1945 to be head of the Department 
of Horticulture at Michigan State. Later, he wrote a book on the 
subject, Dwarfed Fruit Trees, Macmillan Co. 1964. Way describes it 
as "the definitive work on the subject." 49 

Karl D. Brase was born and trained in horticulture in Germany. 
He was employed as assistant manager of a commercial nursery 
in Switzerland prior to coming to Geneva in 1928 at the age of 25 
as Plant Propagator in Tukey's program. From 1931 to 1937 he 
earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Cornell. He was a part- 
time assistant to Tukey during this time. When Tukey left in 1945, 


Brase was appointed Research Associate in charge of the root- 
stock research program. In 1952, he was promoted to Assistant 
Professor and in 1955 to Associate Professor. He died in 1966 at 
the age of 63. 

Professor Brase's major research was on scion-rootstock relation- 
ships in tree fruits. He was one of the first in America to work 
with the Mailing stocks. He also conducted extensive research on 
the vegetative and seed propagation of rootstocks. He became 
interested in fruit tree viruses and cooperated for more than a 
decade with Geneva and Ithaca plant pathologists on research in 
this field. He was one of the pioneers in his field of interest and 
lectured frequently at fruit grower meetings throughout the 
United States. He initiated orchard testing of variety and root- 
stock combinations and cooperated with grower evaluations. 50 

In 1967, James N. Cummins was appointed Professor of Pomol- 
ogy to replace Professor Brase and continued the long standing 
Station rootstock research program. He was 42 years old, with 
training in chemistry, horticulture (including one year at Cornell 
studying pomology), a Masters from Wisconsin and a Doctorate 
from Southern Illinois, both in Botany. He elected not to continue 
a strong rootstock technique program but rather to develop a 
rootstock development program. He judged that the Mailing 
clonal rootstocks that were being used at that time were not 
suitable for New York soils and climate. In order to select adapted 
rootstock material resistant to diseases, pine voles, late freezes, 
etc., he collaborated with {among others): plant pathologists 
Aldwinkle, Gilmer, and Gonsalves; horticulturists Forsline, 
Brown, and Lamb; wildlife expert R. E. Byers; and others. Later, 
two patents were issued (1984 and 1994) and three applications 
were submitted (1995 to 1998). Professor Cummins' research 
activities at Geneva included: nursery production of fruit trees 
and tree fruit rootstocks; interactions of fruit trees with viruses; 
breeding, genetics, and evaluation of fruit tree rootstocks; adapta- 
tion of temperate zone fruit crops to subtropical conditions; 
aseptic culture of Malus; evaluation of transgenic apples; and 
stabilization of chimeras. When Professor Cummins retired in 
1993, he was awarded the American Pomological Society Wilder 
Medal in 1994 and the Outstanding Research Award from the 
International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association. 

A branch station was established in Fredonia in the heart of the 
western New York grape growing region in 1909 to provide a 
base for Station research on this crop. Fred E. Gladwin, B. S., was 
employed as the first viticulturist at Fredonia to conduct research 


Copy of a photo from D. M. 
Dunnings showing the Grapes of 
New York Exhibit at the 1951 St. 
Louis World Fair. 

on grapes. He lived in Fredonia and was Superintendent of the 
branch station. He made frequent trips to Geneva for consultation 
with administration and scientific staff. 51 He conducted field 
experiments /demonstrations on grape culture including prun- 
ing, fertilizers and harvesting practices. He bred several new 
varieties, notably the Fredonia grape. He retired 28 years later in 

Thais A. Merrill was hired as a research associate in 1941 to 
replace Gladwin. He stayed only two years before leaving for 
Washington State to work on apples. After that, non-professionals 
were appointed supervisors of the Station. Frederick 
Taschenberg, an entomologist, was stationed there from 1940 
until his retirement in 1983. He provided assistance in manage- 
ment of the Station but his main thrust was research on grape 
pest biology and control and was responsible to the Department 
of Entomology. 

John Einset was the son of Olav Einset, who had been summarily 
notified that his position at Geneva was discontinued in 1939 
when he was on leave in Norway. John graduated from Cornell 
with a bachelor's degree in 1938 and earned his Doctor of Phi- 
losophy degree in 1942 in the field of cytogenetics at Cornell. He 
was appointed Assistant Professor in the Station's Department of 
Pomology in 1942, where he worked until his retirement as 
Professor Emeritus of Pomology and Viticulture in 1973. "Profes- 
sor Einset was one of the outstanding fruit cytogeneticists and 
fruit breeders of the world." 52 He was a successful breeder of 

— 244— 

John Einset, noted fruit breeder, 
especially of grapes and apples. 

new varieties of grapes and apples. In 1972, he and Willard 
Robinson introduced the successful Cayuga White, the first 
station grape bred exclusively for the wine market. He also 
cooperated in introducing six new apple varieties including 
Empire and Spijon. The Spigold variety, a triploid, resulted from 
his cytological studies. 

In addition to his contributions in cytology and fruit breeding, he 
was also a very able administrator of the Department of Pomol- 
ogy from 1953 to 1971. His broad background in basic and ap- 
plied research enabled him to provide strong leadership in all 
phases of the department's research program. Also, he was a 
strong supporter of the New York State Fruit Testing Cooperative 
Association. Further details of his research contributions in 
cytology are found later in this chapter. 

Keith H. Kimball, M. S., was appointed Research Associate in 
Pomology 1950. He conducted research on grape culture and 
breeding from 1950 to 1957 and from 1966 to 1982. Also ap- 
pointed in 1950 as a Research Associate in Pomology was John 
Watson, M.S. In addition to contributing to the grape breeding 
program, he conducted the plum breeding program of the Station 
for many years. This research led to the introduction of two new 
excellent plum varieties. 

Nelson J. Shaulis was appointed Assistant Professor in viticulture 
in 1944. As reported in Chapter IX, he elected to work out of 
Geneva rather than Fredonia. He made an agreement with Direc- 
tor Heinicke (who had been on his graduate school faculty 
committee) that the Director would spend one day each season 
with Shaulis in Fredonia reviewing his research projects, and that 
he would wear his "scientist's hat," not his director's. Heinicke 
lived up to his agreement through the end of his directorship. 53 

The years of Shaulis' research at Geneva from 1944 to 1979 were 
critical for the New York grape and wine industry. It was a time 
when competition was expanding rapidly in neighboring states 
and particularly in California, Washington, and Oregon. Addi- 
tionally, wines were being imported from Europe and South 
America. New York wine growers were desperate for increased 
and less expensive production practices and improved and more 
productive wine grapes adapted to New York conditions. Shaulis, 
with his analytical mind and ability to work effectively with 
others, was a leader in the efforts to find solutions. For the Con- 
cord juice grape industry, New York's high production costs were 
judged to be the major problem. At that time average production 

245 — 

Nelson Shaulis (far right) showing 
grapevine examination techniques 
to colleagues — student, industry, 
and faculty. 

in the State was 1.5 tons per acre. The factors limiting production 
were identified as: variety, site (soil and low winter temperatures), 
vine management, pruning and harvesting methods, and soil 

Shaulis took leadership in addressing these problems. He collabo- 
rated with Professor Bernard Dethier and his associates at Ithaca in 
defining geographical areas where extremely low winter tempera- 
tures kill buds and grapes should not be grown. He initiated 
studies to determine nutritional requirements for increased pro- 
ductivity in various soil types. In collaboration with Professor Alan 
Lakso, he studied grape physiology. They found that productivity 
could be increased by raising the height of the trellises from five to 
six feet to increase the amount of foliage and fruit yield per vine. 
Shaulis also developed the "double curtain canopy," which en- 
abled mechanical pruning and harvesting at significant savings of 
time and money. In collaboration with Ithaca engineers Professors 
E. S. Shepardson and John Pollock and Geneva food scientist James 
Moyer, machinery and methods for mechanical grape harvesting 
were developed. 54 As the result of the application of the new 
knowledge and improved new technologies, the average yield of 
grapes in the state increased from 1 1/2 to 41/2 tons per acre by 
1965. 55 On the occasion of Shaulis' retirement in 1979, a Nelson J. 
Shaulis Fund for the Advancement of Viticulture was established 
in his honor to ensure continuation of his work. 56 

Robert M. Pool was hired to continue John Einset's research 
program on grape breeding when Einset retired in 1974. Pool 
earned both his B.S. in Enology in 1962 and his M.S. in Food 

— 246— 

The mechanical harvester for 
grapes developed cooperatively by 
Geneva scientists and scientists in 
engineering on the Ithaca campus. 

Science in 1969 at the University of California. During this time he 
was Staff Research Associate. He then transferred to Cornell for his 
Ph.D. studies in Pomology which he completed in 1973. Six years 
later (1979) when Shaulis retired, Pool relinquished his responsibil- 
ity for grape breeding and assumed responsibility for the grape 
cultural program. 

Pool's seven years of grape breeding research occurred during a 
time when there was stagnation in the growth of sales of wines 
made from traditional native American wine varieties. Through 
the efforts of Pool and his predecessors, the utility of the French 
hybrid grape cultivars had been identified, and three out of the top 
10 grape varieties grown in New York State by 1977 were French 
hybrid grapes. These greatly improved the marketing flexibility of 
the state's wine industry. 

The only white wine grape released by the Station prior to 1977 
was Cayuga White. It had been planted widely, and in 1977, a 
commercial varietal Cayuga White wine was made for the first 
time. It proved to be popular and soon sold out, even though 
priced higher than other wines. 57 In 1977, the Station introduced 
two seedless grapes, Candice and Glenora. These were the first 
cultivars that were winter hardy in all viticultural areas of the 
state. 58 

As noted earlier, during the 15-year period prior to the cut off date 
for this history (1982), great progress had been made in grape 
culture in New York State under Shaulis' leadership. Further 
refinements and new technologies were made in the years after his 
retirement by Pool. The latter's primary interests included mecha- 

;,,: : ... 

nization of pruning, crop level related to grape and wine quality, 
sustainability, vineyard floor management and weed control, 
cultural practices, and rootstock effects on cold hardiness and vine 
productivity. He conducted research on the application of similar 
techniques to French- American varieties during this period. 59 
Pool's research was a major factor in maintaining the competitive- 
ness of the New York grape industry. 

Bruce I. Reisch was appointed Assistant Professor at the Station in 
1980 with responsibilities for research on grape breeding and 
genetic improvement. Reisch did his undergraduate studies at 
Cornell University with a major in horticulture and plant breeding. 
His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees were in plant breeding and genetics at 
the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While the two years from 
1980 to 1982 (end of this history account), are too brief to evaluate 
his contributions, we can note that Reisch has developed a very 
successful genetic engineering research program using traditional 
methods and the novel particle (gene) gun transformation of 
embryonic tissue cultures and genetic mapping. He has worked 
with both table and wine grapes. 

The Station conducted some small fruit breeding research during 
its earliest years as part of its overall fruit program. It was not until 
Professor George Slate came to the Station in 1920 and initiated a 
program in this field that a major research program was in place. 
Slate held this position for 48 years until his retirement in 1969. He 
was the longest tenured professor during the first 100 years of the 
Station's existence. 60 

Professor Slate, as Richard Wellington had done earlier, graduated 
from the Massachusetts Agricultural College (1921) and received 
his master's degree from Harvard University (Bussey Institute) in 
1926. Throughout his long career at the Station, he was respon- 
sible for the Station's outstanding program of small fruit breed- 
ing. Out of the more than a quarter-million small fruit seedlings 
he raised and evaluated, 41 were named and introduced into 
commercial production. Some became important varieties in New 
York and other eastern states. 61 Slate was an active participant in 
Cornell's extension teaching programs and New York fruit 
grower meetings. He was involved in evaluations of the tech- 
niques and the progeny of fruit breeding. He was articulate and 
respected for his competence by scientists, farmers and the lay 

Slate was a prolific writer with over 600 publications. These 
included many technical articles on plant breeding and genetics 

—■248 — 

published in scientific journals and yearbooks of plant societies. 
He was also well known for his farm and garden articles in such 
publications as the Boston Sunday Herald, Better Homes and Gar- 
dens, The New York Times, and the Reader's Digest Book of the Gar- 

Slate was a member of a number of professional societies, includ- 
ing the American Society for Horticultural Science, Northern Nut 
Growers Association (secretary 1943-1945, president 1954-1955), 
North American Lily Society, honorary member of the Massachu- 
setts Horticultural Society, and corresponding member of the Lily 
Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society (U.K.) from 1948- 
1967. His awards included the Mackson Dawson Medal from the 
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Johnny Appleseed Gold 
Medal from the Men's Garden Club of America, American Horti- 
cultural Society Citation, E. H. Wilson Award from the North 
American Lily Society, and the Wilder Medal from the American 
Pomological Society. He served as president of the latter in 1973- 
1974. After retirement in 1969, Slate was named a fellow of the 
American Society for Horticultural Science, received the James R. 
Jewett Prize for research on native American plants from the 
Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and the Merit Award 
from the Northern Nut Growers Association. 62 

Donald K. Ourecky was appointed Assistant Professor in 1963 in 
order to learn small fruit breeding from Professor State prior to 
the latter 's impending retirement. Ourecky received his horticul- 
tural training at Oregon State and Washington State Universities. 
He had been a U. S. Department of Agriculture Research Associ- 
ate at Tifton Georgia for three years prior to coming to Geneva. In 
addition to his small fruit breeding projects, he conducted re- 
search on the histological, cytological, and genetic problems in 
the breeding of fruit plants. He also collaborated with entomolo- 
gists G. G. Kennedy and G. A. Schaefers in efforts to develop red 
raspberries resistant to two important aphid pests. His major 
contributions were the development and release of seven small 
fruit varieties for both home garden and commercial production. 
One of these was Heritage, which is grown throughout the 
United States and is the leading fall-bearing red raspberry. 63 
Ourecky resigned in 1979 to pursue his interest in and his lucra- 
tive business in oriental antiques. He was productive during his 
relatively short stay at the Station. 64 

John C. Sanford was appointed Assistant Professor in 1980 to 
take over the breeding program of small fruits including straw- 
berries and raspberries. He had a strong background in plant 

— 249 — 

An early version of John 
Sanford's gene gun used to 
transfer genes from one plant to 


breeding and plant genetics. The junior author (E. H. Glass) heard 
Sanford's lecture given when he was on campus as a candidate for 
the position. His reaction was that Sanford might do some small 
fruit breeding, but he would also pursue related basic research 
areas. In fact, Sanford did some excellent breeding and introduced 
several good varieties, which are providing royalties that support 
his research program. 65 But, Sanford also was active and success- 
ful in developing innovative technologies to genetically engineer 
improved varieties. While these activities were initiated during 
the period covered by this history (1882 to 1982), his major inven- 
tion, the radically new ballistics method of gene transfer ("gene 
gun") and its major world-wide impacts occurred after 1982. 

We reported in Chapter VII that Director Hedrick initiated a 
research program in cytology in 1930 when he hired Nebel as a 
horticulturist to conduct research in fruit cytology. Nebel had been 
conducting research in this field at Geneva the previous year to 
complete his requirements for a Ph.D. from the University of 
Halle, Germany. In this chapter, we summarize the results of this 
innovative program. 

The reader may question the rationale for establishing a cytology 
research program at the Station. Cytology is defined in the Ameri- 
can Heritage Dictionary as: "The branch of biology that deals with 
the formation, structure, and function of cells." Perhaps the term 
"Cytogenetics," defined as: "The branch of biology that deals with 
heredity and the cellular components, particularly chromosomes, 
associated with heredity" provides a more accurate description of 
the nature and purpose of this Geneva program. Its objectives 

— 250 — 

were to apply the science of cytology to the Station's breeding 
programs to aid in the development of new improved varieties of 
fruits and vegetables. 

Bernard R. Nebel, a graduate of the University of Halle in Ger- 
many was appointed Associate in Research in the Pomology 
Division September 1, 1929. He had "done notable work as a post- 
graduate student at this institution last year." 66 Over the next 13 
years, he conducted cytological research on apples primarily but 
also limited experiments with other crops. His research was 
directed towards a better understanding of chromosomes, their 
interaction with closely related varieties and ways to improve or 
design new methods for the Station's crop breeding programs. He 
also conducted some testing of colchicine to induce genetic 
changes to produce crops with new desirable characteristics. He 
resigned July 31, 1942, studied medicine, and became a practicing 

John Einset, as reported earlier in this chapter, was appointed 
Investigator (Pomology) September 1, 1942, to continue the 
cytological studies on fruits initiated by Nebel but later turned to 
fruit breeding. 67 When he retired in 1973, "Professor Einset was 
one of the outstanding fruit cytogeneticists and fruit breeders of 
the world. His discoveries of cytochimeras in apples, grapes, and 
other fruits represent a classic contribution to horticultural sci- 
ence." 68 

Charlotte S. Pratt was appointed a laboratory assistant to Einset in 
1951. She was promoted to Research Associate (a professional but 
not a tenured position) in 1958 and to Senior Research Associate in 
1976. This new status gave her the privilege of more independent 
research and publication opportunities as sole or as senior author. 
She took a writing leave of absence in 1970 to prepare a review on 
the reproductive morphology and anatomy of grapevines. The 
review was submitted to the American Journal ofEnology and 
Viticulture and finally was published in 1971 after some delay. She 
submitted a second paper in 1974 on vegetative anatomy. It was 
quickly accepted and published in a timely manner. It was named 
the Society's "Outstanding Paper of 1974." She retired in 1981 but 
continued some professional activities in her department for 
many years and still (1998) does work as a volunteer in the Sta- 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, pp. 89-119. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, pp. 120-154. 

-251 — 

3 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, p. 8. 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, p. 27. 


NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1882, p. 9. 

Collier became the second Director of the Station in 1887. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1897, pp. 7-27, 267-269. 

NYSAES Search Agr. Vol. 1, No. 2. Apple Cultivars, pp. 4-5, 15. March, 1971. 
Hedrick's administrative record as director of the Station is found in Chapter 

Joseph Wellington, a younger brother of Richard Wellington, was a horticul- 
turist on the staff from 1914-1919 during the period when Richard was at 
Minnesota and Maryland. 

Hedrick, U. P. Geneva Sta. Rpt. 1919: Part II, pp. 1-11. "Sturtevant's Notes on 
Edible Plants". 

NYSAES Bui. 314. 1909, 56 pp. 
NYSAES Ann. Bui. 375. 1914, p. 79. 
NYSAES Ann. Bui. 383. 1914, p. 249-281. 
NYSAES Ann. Bui. 516. 1924, p. 4. 
Heinicke Oral History, 1967, pp. 48-51. 
Fruit Varieties Jour. 33, 91-94, Hort Sci. 15: 454. 

Way R. D. 1986, A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva, NYSAES, 
Cornell University, Geneva, NY 1986, p. 32. Unpublished. Copy available in 
NYSAES Library. 

Necrology of the Faculty, Cornell University, 1951-1952, pp. 15-16. 
Except for the years 1914 to 1919 when he held the positions of pomologist at 
Minnesota and then of professor of vegetable gardening at Maryland in 1919 
to 1920. He returned in 1920 as associate horticulturist. During his absence, 
his younger brother, Joseph was hired as a member of the Division of 
Horticulture staff from 1914 to 1919. Joseph spent much of this time assisting 
Hedrick with the editing of Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants. 
Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. p. 30. 
Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1918: p. 25. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, 1975-76, Ithaca, New York, 
pp 39-41. 

Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. p. 35. 
Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 
Sayre Oral History, 1982, p.18. 
NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1930, pp. 11-12. 

The major responsibility for storage and marketing research on fresh fruit at 
that time was with the Ithaca Pomology Department. 
NYSAES, 54th Ann. Rpt. 1935, pp. 79-80. 
NYSAES, 55th Ann. Rpt. 1936, pp. 82-84. 
Personal communication, N. J. Shaulis, 10/11/96. 

Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. p. 52. 
Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 

Also see Chapter XIII for additional information on the disease aspects of 
this collaboration. 

Host resistance to the pear psylla in New York, A thesis by Marvin Kirk 
Harris, 177 pp., Sept. 1972. 

See Chapter XII for additional information on resistance to pear psylla. 
Proceedings Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 72:1-14,1958. 

Way, R. D., An Expanded Apple Breeding Program at Geneva. 1976. Farm 
Research 33(4):8-9. 

Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. p. 33. 
Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 
NYSAES Search Bui. Vol. 1, No. 2. 

Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. pp. 32- 
33. Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, June 25, 1983, Office of the 
Dean of Faculty, Ithaca, New York, pp. 9-10. 

Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. p. 53. 
Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 


NYSAES, 72nd. Ann. Rpt. 1953, p. 10. 

Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. pp. 21- 
22. Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 
See Chapter XII for additional information on Curtis' collaboration with 

Curtis, O. F. et. al., 1957. NYS Hort. Soc. Proc. 102, pp. 253-258. 
Chan, B. G. and J. C. Cain, 1967. The effect of seed formation on subsequent 
flowering of apple. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 91:63-68. 
NYSAES Bui. 406, 1915. U. P. Hedrick, Dwarf Apples, 28 pp. 
Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. p. 35. 
Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 

Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. p. 36. 
Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 
Necrology of the Faculty of Cornell University, 1966-1967, pp. 7-8. 
Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. pp. 19- 
20. Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, 1981-82, Ithaca, NY, pp. 13- 

Shaulis, personal communication. 
For further information, see Chapter XIV. 

Mendall, S. E., Eastern Grape Grower & Winery News, February, 1979, pp. 
12-17. "The man who made it happen: 1.5 - 4.5 T/A." 
Mendall, S. E., Eastern Grape Grower & Winery News, February, 1979, pp. 
12-17. "The man who made it happen: 1.5 - 4.5 T/A." 
Dept. Pomology & Viticulture CSRS Review, 1977, p. 89. 
Pool, R. M., J. P. Watson, K. H. Kimball and J. Einset. 1977. Canadice grape. 
HortScience 12 (6) :586, Pool, R. M., J.P. Watson, K. H. Kimball, and J. Einset. 
1977. Glenora grape. HortScience 12(6)587. 
Dept. Pomology & Viticulture CSRS Review, 1983, p. 54. 
Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. pp. 36- 
37. Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, 1975-76, Ithaca, New York, 
pp. 34-36. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, 1975-76, Ithaca, New York, 
pp. 34-36. 

CSRS Review, Cornell University, December 5-8, 1977, Departments Pomol- 
ogy, Ithaca, NY and Pomology and Viticulture, Geneva, NY, pp. 83-86. 
Way, R. D., A History of Pomology and Viticulture at Geneva. 1986. pp. 36, 
55. Unpublished. Copy available in NYSAES Library. 
H. Price, personal communication, 1 /24/97. 
NYSAES, 48th. Ann. Rpt. 1929, p. 11. 
C. Pratt, Personal communication, 1997. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, 1981, Ithaca, New York, 
pp. 13-15. 



Seed and Vegetable 

The director of the 
New York State 
Agricultural Experiment 
Station shall examine, 
analyze, or test, or cause to 
he examined, analyzed, or 
tested such samples of seed 
taken under the provisions 
of this article as shall he 
submitted to him for that 
purpose by the commis- 
sioner, and shall report the 
results of such analysis, 
examination, or testing to 
the commissioner. Any 
citizen of this state shall 
have the privilege of sub- 
mitting to the New York 
State Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station samples of 
seeds for test and analysis." 

The departments of Seed Investigations and Vegetable 
Crops were established early but were not combined 
until April 1, 1974. During this long incubation period 
from 1882 to 1974, investigators conducted research on seeds or 
vegetable sciences under their respective department heads. For 
this reason, we have elected to record their histories separately as 
Seed Investigations and Crop Research from 1882 to 1974. (See 
chapter XI for details). The programs during the 1974 to 1982 
period were integrated and are summarized together as one 
department, Seed and Vegetable Sciences. 

Seed Investigations (1882-1974): From the first year of the 
Station's existence, a long list of varieties of vegetable and field 
crops were evaluated in the field and later in greenhouses and 
laboratories. These totaled over a thousand for each of the years 
1883, 1884, and 1885. Corn was featured in these studies, but 
more than usual attention was also given to varieties of bean, pea, 
lettuce, wheat, and potato. Of special interest were the evalua- 
tions made of the seeds of these crops. This effort consisted of a 
determination of their purity, weight, and germination rate. 
Sturtevant was very concerned about these qualities, especially in 
seeds sold in stores. In his first Annual Report, he wrote "...our 
experience with 'grocery seeds'. ..has been so extremely unsatis- 
factory that we are fain to believe that it is only the ignorance of 
the purchaser that retains this abominable system of sale." ' 

In spite of the early recognition of this major problem, little was 
done about it until 1912 when the New York State legislature 
passed the seed act, which stated: "The director of the New York 
State Agricultural Experiment Station shall examine, analyze, or 
test, or cause to be examined, analyzed, or tested such samples of 
seed taken under the provisions of this article as shall be submit- 
ted to him for that purpose by the commissioner, and shall report 
the results of such analysis, examination, or testing to the com- 


Seed and Botany laboratory in 
Sturtevant Hall. 

missioner." Further, "Any citizen of this state shall have the 
privilege of submitting to the New York State Agricultural Ex- 
periment Station samples of seeds for test and analysis." 2 In order 
to fulfill the requirements of this legislation, a seed testing labora- 
tory was established as part of the former Division of Botany. 
Mancel T. Munn was appointed as Assistant in Research July 1, 
1912, and placed in charge of the new program. He was from 
Michigan State University and was familiar with seed inspec- 
tion. 3 

Professor Munn successfully directed the seed laboratory until 
his retirement in 1952. He devised many procedures and tech- 
niques for testing seeds in the laboratory, which became routine 
operations in seed laboratories everywhere. He also pioneered 
the practice in the United States of making field performance 
tests an integral part of official seed testing. In 1927, 5,781 
samples of seed were inspected. For the first time, 257 samples of 
vegetable seeds were tested under both laboratory and field 
conditions. In the latter situation, plants produced from the seed 
sample were maintained to maturity, thus enabling the inspector 
to determine if the variety claimed by the supplier was true. This 
innovation of trueness-to-type testing was of great significance 
because it recognized the contribution of superior germplasm in 
improving crop production. Professor Munn was active in several 
professional societies, including the Association of Official Seed 
Analysts. He was President in 1920. He attended International 

255 — 

Seed Congresses in several countries as an official United States 
delegate and played an important role in formulating regulations 
governing the movement of seeds in international trade. 4 The seed 
inspection program proved highly popular with New York farmers 
and home owners. Some research work was conducted as part of 
the Station's seed program, and eventually it dominated the effort. 

The Division of Botany was composed of a number of research 
programs other than seed investigations. It included plant pathol- 
ogy seeds investigations, and cropping systems. In the 1919 
Annual Report and in Station Bulletin 466, 5 we learned that Profes- 
sor Munn had conducted tests at Geneva over the past eight years 
on the control of dandelions in lawns through the use of iron 
sulfate sprays. It was found that four or five sprayings starting in 
May, just ahead of the first appearance of dandelion blossoms, 
gave good control. Only four sprayings were advised in years 
having unusually long dry midsummer conditions. Where these 
sprayings were made every three years, lawns were kept virtually 
free of dandelions. 

The Cornell University Board of Trustees on April 24, 1936, created 
a new research unit, "Division of Seed Investigations." Professor 
Munn was appointed division head. In addition to Munn, the new 
division consisted of pathologist Willard Crosier, Ph.D.; botanist 
Arthur Shuck, Ph.D.; Mary Woodbridge, M.S.; and Stewart Patrick, 
B.S. The new division was unique in its organization compared to 
other divisions within the Station because of the seed law. The 
purview of this group was to examine seeds of all kinds and sorts, 
whereas other divisions focused primarily on animal science and 
horticulture. Benjamin E. Clark succeeded Munn as head of the 
Department in 1952 when Professor Munn retired. He served as 
head of the department until he was appointed Assistant Director 
of the Station in 1969. Professor LeRoy Nittler became Head of the 
department and served until the Seed and Vegetable Crops depart- 
ments were merged in 1974. 

The future direction of the new Seed Investigation division was 
defined in the following announcement: "The major part of the 
work of this Division will be the testing of seeds, altho most 
important investigations will be carried on the fundamental factors 
covering the germination of seeds, improvement in seed testing 
technic, the role of seeds as carriers of disease organisms, and 
other problems relating to flower and vegetable seeds, lawn 
grasses, and farm crop seeds in general." 6 This farsighted state- 
ment presumably had the blessing of Director Hedrick as well as 
Professor Munn. It represented the first effort to establish a verti- 


Seedmen reviewing seed trials. 

cally (multidisciplinary) structured department at the Station. C. E. 
Heit captured the philosophy of the group when he wrote: "The 
testing of seed. a research study of each individual sample 
tested and not a sprout-counting game... We must consider each 
figure a published research result... We must be convinced it is an 
accurate and true appraisal of the planting value of the seed under 
test." 7 

The record of achievements of the division over the following 
decades speaks well for the wisdom of this plan. The new division 
rapidly became a world leader in the emerging field of seed 
science and technology. 

The activities of the Seed Division during World War II were 
critically important to ensure adequate food supplies for the nation 
and the war effort. Seed samples from individuals, from state 
inspectors, and from seed companies were evaluated. Some lots 
were tested in field trials for performance and trueness-to-type for 
the indicated variety. Additionally, some lots were tested for 
seedborne infection by fungi. In 1944, 15,373 samples were submit- 
ted and tested. A substantial percentage (14 per cent of some kinds 
of field, forage, and grain crop seeds) were unfit for planting. Field 
planting tests of red kidney beans, field and sweet corn, oats, 
wheat, and potatoes yielded valuable information. The benefits of 
new varieties of kidney beans were demonstrated. Some late 
season sweet corn was found to be of limited value because tuber 
borne diseases caused substantial losses. Examination of germi- 
nating seeds in the laboratory demonstrated the problem of 
pathogens of sprouting pea, barley, celery, and kidney bean seeds. 
The results were reported both in publications and in direct reports 
to growers or to state regulators and contributed substantially to 
the agricultural productivity. 

The activities of the Division continued in this 1944 manner over 
the next 15 years. The popularity of the seed testing services 
increased from about 15,000 samples in 1944 to over 20,000 in 1950. 
Over time the focus on single seed mixtures shifted to lots contain- 
ing more complex mixtures such as turf seeds. 

Plant Pathologist Willard Crosier tested and found that a new 
fungicide, Arasan, was effective in controlling seed-borne diseases 
and could replace the use of mercury seed treatments. Mercury 
was in short supply because of the war. He conducted a series of 
experiments from 1946 to 1948 to determine possible deleterious 
effects of an insecticidal fumigant on the germinability of many 
crop seeds treated and not treated with fungicides. 8 


Benjamin Clark, director of The 
Seed Laboratory, and later Associ- 
ate Director of the Station. 

Claude E. Heit joined the staff in 1941, and by 1944 was designing 
methods for testing tree, shrub, flower, and other kinds of seeds. 
He also developed a method to assess the germination potential of 
dormant apple seeds using the technique of embryo excision. 

Benjamin E. Clark was appointed to the faculty of the Division in 
1948 and assumed responsibility for practical stand establishment 
as well as developing new seed testing procedures. He was instru- 
mental in the development of procedures for predicting seed vigor, 
which provides an index of the planting value of seeds. He contin- 
ued the tradition of providing substantial services to the seed trade 
and seed consumers of the State. 

LeRoy W. Nittler was appointed in 1953 with responsibility for the 
ongoing controlled field plantings to assess trueness-to-type and 
planting value of seeds. Because such field trials were very time 
consuming and expensive, he developed, over a period of several 
years, a series of procedures in controlled chambers to evaluate 
varieties with results comparable to field trials. These efforts relied 
upon responses to hormones or other growth factors and re- 
sponses to different forms and composition of nutritional amend- 
ments, temperature, and susceptibility to plant pathogens. 

By 1960, the Department of Seed Investigations had been instru- 
mental in developing a number of methods of seed testing for a 
variety of purposes and in the development and promulgation of 
official, standard methods known to provide reliable methods for 
specific crops. These official standard methods were published and 
governed by the Association of Official Seed Analysts of North 
America and the International Seed Testing association. Station 
Seed Department scientists were leaders in these organizations and 
in seed science in general. They had published hundreds of publi- 
cations in the Proceedings of the Association of Official Seed Analysts. 
Professor Munn was for many years the editor of this publication 
and played an important part in establishment of regulations 
governing seed movement in international trade. Earlier, he had 
served as president. On the occasion of the Association's 50th 
anniversary in 1958, Clark was president and Clark, Crosier, and 
Heit presented invitational papers at the official symposium. Over 
the last three decades, the Division/Department of Seed Investiga- 
tions had established its leadership role in seed science and tech- 
nology, as well as having provided substantial service to the seed 
industry and to New York growers and gardeners. 

The retirement of Director Heinicke and the appointment of Barton 
as Director in 1960 had no immediate impact on the seed investiga- 

-258 — 

Gary Harman, who researched 
biological control agents for 
injurious soilborne diseases. 

tion program and the philosophy that had guided it since the 
beginning of the Division in 1936. However, under the leadership 
of Clark and Nittler, the focus began to change. Nittler succeeded 
Clark as Department Head after Clark was appointed Associate 
Director of the Station in 1969. In 1966, Anwar Khan was ap- 
pointed Assistant Professor and assigned to research seed physiol- 
ogy. Khan received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and 
did two years of post-doctoral studies at Michigan State University 
researching the isolation and characterization of hormones in 
seeds. At Geneva, he published a series of papers pertaining 
primarily to the effects of synthetic and natural plant hormones on 
seed processes. These included the influence of these substances 
on basic aspects of seed germination such as synthesis of various 
classes of RNA. In 1971, he published a paper in Science 9 that 
described a model of the interactions of hormones in seed germi- 
nation. He also developed a method of infusing chemicals into 
seeds using solvent permeation into dry seeds, which proved a 
useful technique in seed physiological studies. He also pioneered a 
method of enhancing seedling establishment under unfavorable 
field conditions, such as in cold soils. 

Khan edited two books on the physiology and biochemistry of 
seed development, dormancy, and germination. 10 Each chapter 
was written by specialists in the chapter subject. These books were 
a major accomplishment and provided current information on all 
aspects of seed physiology. Subsequently, Khan became a frequent 
speaker and panelist on this subject at national and international 
scientific meetings. 

Another major change in the Department occurred in 1970 follow- 
ing Crosier 's retirement after 43 years service as the Department's 
seed pathologist. As discussed earlier, Crosier had emphasized and 
pioneered the field of seed pathology with his work directed 
toward the activities of the Seed Testing Laboratory and the Asso- 
ciation of Official seed analysts. Crosier 's successor, Gary Harman, 
was appointed in 1970. Like Khan, he had a relatively basic job 
description, i.e., to investigate the physiology of parasitism as it 
applied to seeds. While a portion of his studies dealt with 
seedborne pathogens, the majority dealt with more basic aspects. 
An early study was seed storage and how seeds may be adversely 
affected by storage fungi or by the effects of aging. His most 
significant finding was that loss of seed quality was closely paral- 
leled by lipid peroxidation. Another area of Harman's interest 
was in the complex ecosystem surrounding planted seeds. A 
variety of seed pests are influenced by microbial interactions. 
Charles Eckenrode in Entomology and Gary Harman had deter- 

—259 — 

mined that female seed maggots locate planted seed in the soil 
and oviposit on the soil above them. The larvae emerge and 
attack the germinating seeds. They determined that this ability of 
the female insects to find seeds was a response to the rapid 
proliferation of non-pathogenic bacteria and yeasts that colonize 
the germinating seeds. The insect detects the volatile metabolites 
of the microorganisms rather than the seed itself. They also 
identified microorganisms that effectively colonize seeds and 
inhibited growth of the stimulatory microorganisms. Treatment 
of seeds with the inhibitory organisms reduces damage by the 
maggots and is and an example of biological control. The broad 
area of the ecology of planted seeds and biological control be- 
came Harman's primary research interest in later years. He was 
appointed Chairman of the Department when Vittum retired in 

Clark continued to contribute much research to the Department 
of Seed Investigations in spite of his administrative assignments. 
He published more than 100 scientific papers and made contribu- 
tions in the area of determining seed vigor. He gained an interna- 
tional reputation for administration of the New York State Seed 
Testing Laboratory He was involved in many seed organizations 
and in developing the State Seed Law. Especially noteworthy was 
his role in the Association of Official Seed Analysts, where he 
served as editor of its Proceedings and also as president, vice 
president, and chair of many committees. He received the 
Association's Award of Merit in 1968. 

Nittler served the Station for 27 years. His major research efforts 
were to determine procedures for testing varietal purit)/ of seeds. 
His methods for separating and identifying varieties of many 
crop species were well established and could be performed by 
commercial and public seed testing laboratories. 

The Barton years from 1960 to 1982 were a period of solid 
achievement in the Seed Investigations Department. It was a time 
of evolution in the seed science group at the Station that was 
planned and directed largely by Clark, Nittler, and colleagues 
with encouragement from Director Barton. And, most certainly, 
Director Sturtevant would have been amazed and pleased with 
the advances made by the Station in the seed program he initi- 
ated in 1882. 

Crop Research (1882-1974): During the early years of the Station 
some research programs related to vegetable and field crops were 
initiated but later were dropped or were delegated to the Ithaca 


Campus prior to 1974. Only brief mention of agronomy, botany 
and field crops are included in this section of Chapter XVI. 

Agronomy (1911-1928): In 1911, J. F. Barker, an agronomist, was 
added to the staff and placed in charge of a soil investigations 
program. The work conducted in this field was reported under 
the title of Soil Investigations until 1915 when it was named the 
Division of Agronomy. Early attention was given to the sources, 
composition, and use of ground limestone. At this time, New 
York farmers were interested in starting the culture of alfalfa on 
their farms but realized satisfactory crops of alfalfa could not be 
produced on acid soils. In 1914, samples of lime from 35 quarries 
were analyzed. These results were published and farmers were 
advised how each product should be used. 

The studies were conducted under laboratory, greenhouse, and 
field conditions, and through the use of lysimeters. In 1915, the 
field work included: alfalfa culture tests on 18 hilly landsites; 
fertilizer, cultivation, and cover crop tests in one or two apple, 
pear, peach, and cherry orchards; fertilizer and deep plowing 
tests in two vineyards; two tobacco-culture experiments; and one 
hop culture test. The program carried out over the following five 
years (1929 - 1934) was essentially the same. 

J. F. Barker resigned in 1917 to accept a position at Ohio State 
University. He was succeeded by R. C. Collison who had joined 
the Station's staff in 1914. In regard to the two apple orchard 
tests that were conducted in cooperation with the Division of 
Horticulture, it was concluded that "on the better fruit soils of 
New York — commercial fertilizers will not pay financially." The 
orchard management practice advised was a clean cultivation 
and the use of cover crops. In general the findings agree with 
similar tests carried out by the Division of Horticulture. Studies 
conducted on the fertilization of orchard and vineyards, along 
with the use of manures, were continued. In 1919, the Division 
had found that fresh wheat straw, when incorporated in the soil, 
was toxic to seedling plants. It was further established that 
"strawy" manures also were toxic. 

Studies on tobacco were started by J. F. Barker in 1911. This 
project was conducted in cooperation with the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture. Its principal object was to determine whether 
tobacco could be produced profitably under upstate New York 
conditions. In 1922, a new tobacco study was started. It was 
concerned with finding a tobacco with a high nicotine content. A 
possible use for such a product was suggested from the findings 

— 261 — 

of Station entomologists that a finely ground tobacco dust was 
quite effective in controlling certain sucking- insect pests (See 
Entomology section). Analyses made of the tobaccos produced 
in 1922 in the Division's cultural tests gave disappointing 
results. The nicotine content ranged from only 1.19 to 1.64 per 
cent. By 1927, however, the Division found it could produce 
tobaccos having a nicotine content, in the dried leaves, ranging 
from four to six per cent (Also see Chapter XIX). By 1927, 
however, entomologists had found that pesticides applied as 
sprays gave better results against the total disease-insect com- 
plex, at least in the case of the tree fruits, than with dusts. To- 
bacco dusts were to see little use in commercial agriculture. 

Botany (1896-1920): F. C. Stewart undertook studies in 1915 to 
determine the proper spacing of potato plants for best results. 
At that time the common practice was to provide 15 inches in 
the row between plants and 36 inches between the rows. In 
1920, he concluded: "In the production of seed potatoes . . . New 
York growers may well consider closer planting than 15 x 30 
inches, since, thereby the mat yield is likely to be increased and 
the quality of the crop improved, particularly in rich soils. . . 
Potatoes grown in rich garden soil, for table use, may be planted 
as close as 6 by 30 inches." 11 In 1918, Stewart sought an answer 
to the question of what loss in yield occurs from the loss of a 
single plant in a row. He found (see Bulletin 409) that the 
increased yields of the two plants facing the open space made 
up 46.4 per cent of the loss caused by the missing plant. 12 

Field Crops (1897-1899), Crop Production (1900-1901): From its 

founding in 1897 to at least 1901, Jordan served, in effect, as 
head of this new department. Over these years, studies were 
conducted on the production of sugar beets, potatoes, and 
onions. Apparently, the primary reason for establishing this 
department was to determine if sugar beets could be grown 
profitably under New York conditions. Around the turn of the 
century, a great deal of interest had developed among farmers in 
central and western New York about sugar beets. Studies 
conducted by the Station established that in terms of yields and 
quality New York was fully competitive with all other beet- 
producing areas in the United States. Profitability was another 
matter. Most central and western New York growers soon 
learned it was more profitable to grow cabbage, potatoes, beans, 
garden vegetables, and even some specialty crops like broom 
corn, than sugar beets. Growers in some restricted areas contin- 
ued to grow sugar beets, but by 1907 only one sugar beet factory 
was still in operation in New York. The last report of the Field 

— 262- 

Crop-Crop Production Department, as such, is found in the 1901 
Annual Report. 

The formation, separation, combining, and discontinuation of 
divisions /departments (see Figure in chapter XI) would almost 
appear to have been at the whims of the directors (at least it first 
appeared to be so to the junior author). Further study suggests 
that there was a reason for most decisions. We find that the 
Vegetable Crops Division was established in 1930 in response to 
the enactment of an appropriation for research in this area and 
the continued demand for increased research. Later, we learn 
that Vegetable Crops and Seed Investigations were combined 
because of reduced funding and the need to cut back on admin- 
istrative overhead. 13 Other changes were made to accommodate 
administrative changes in responsibilities between Geneva and 
Ithaca. Still other changes were made to accommodate develop- 
ing scientific technologies, which opened new research opportu- 
nities in several research areas. This was particularly true in 
chemistry, physiology and genetics with the rapid advances in 
capabilities to investigate new research avenues. 

Vegetable Crops (1928-1942): It is appropriate to mention here 
the background developments that led to the establishment of 
the processing vegetable crops program at Geneva rather than 
Ithaca. In 1923, a committee of growers and canners was orga- 
nized by John Street, secretary of the New York Canners Asso- 
ciation, for the purpose of obtaining funding for research on 
some serious problems in vegetable production. The committee 
approached Cornell for this research and was advised to pre- 
pare a statement of needed research and petition the State 
legislature for funds. In 1925 a special item was attached to the 
budget, authorizing $20,500 for canning crops research. Just 
prior to that time, the Agricultural Economics Department at 
Ithaca published a bulletin on the costs of growing tomatoes 
and other canning crops in New York. The stated costs were 
"fantastically" high with a number of "wild" estimates, which 
indicated that New York could not be competitive with other 
areas. The canners were furious and quietly made sure that 
when the funds were made available in 1925 they should go to 
Geneva. The stated reason was that Geneva is centrally located 
in the heart of the canning crops area, whereas Ithaca is not. 14 In 
the junior author's opinion, the right decision was made for the 
wrong reason. It would have been difficult for Ithaca staff to 
have conducted field research at considerable distances from 
Ithaca and may well have found it necessary to establish a field 
station in the Geneva vegetable growing area to conduct the 

—■■263 — 

field research programs. This development not only was very 
important in the expansion of the Station's vegetable field re- 
search program but was an important factor later in determining 
the nature of and the establishment of the Food Science and 
Technology Department in the 1940s. 

The Canning Crops Bill provided for three positions effective July 
1, 1925. Leon K. Jones was employed to work on diseases, Hugh 
Glasgow of the Entomology Division was assigned to insect pests, 
and C. B. Sayre was hired to research cultural practices. At that 
time, vegetable activities and personnel were part of the Division 
of Horticulture. It was not until 1930 that the Cornell Board of 
Trustees approved dividing the Horticulture Division into the 
Division of Pomology and the Division of Vegetable Crops. C. B. 
Sayre, Chief in Research, was made Chief in charge of Vegetable 
Crops. 15 The only other vegetable crop professionals listed that 
year were William T. Tapley, M.S., and Leslie R. Hawthorn, M.S.. 

The seed-borne disease, Aschochyta blight, was the principal 
disease of peas in the mid 1920s. Planting infected seed would 
inoculate whole fields. Jones demonstrated that disease-free seed 
was available from the west, particularly Idaho and certain parts 
of California and Washington. This finding brought quick benefits 
because the canners furnished the seed to farmers and promptly 
changed to western sources. Aschochyta blight was essentially 
eliminated in a few years. 

Another major contribution to increased pea and tomato produc- 
tion in New York was made by Sayre with his long-term pea and 
tomato experiments established in 1926 to determine appropriate 
rotations and fertilizer applications for maximum sustained 
yields. These were designed to develop "permanent canning crop 
production systems." 16 Pea production in the non-rotated plots 
was equal to that in the rotated plots for the first two years. By the 
third year, however, yields dropped to half in the continuous plots 
and to non-harvestable levels by the fourth year. Heavy applica- 
tions of fertilizers were ineffective in countering the reduced 
yields, which were caused by the build up of pathogenic soil 
organisms. Similar results were obtained with tomatoes except 
that the losses occurred about two years later. These long-term 
experiments also provided growers with guidelines for the opti- 
mum amounts and placement of fertilizers. The common practice 
of drilling the fertilizers into the seed row at the time of planting 
was found to kill some seedlings and damage root systems result- 
ing in reduced yields. Drilling the fertilizers 2.5 inches on either 
side of the seeds eliminated the damage. 17 

— 264- 

As noted in the Entomology section, Glasgow was successful in 
developing effective control measures for the very destructive pea 
aphid. Thus, the appropriation for canning crops research resulted 
in major gains for both New York State farmers, canners, and 

The Vegetable Crops Division became heavily involved with the 
new quick-freezing technology for the preservation of vegetables. 
In collaboration with the Frosted Foods Corporation, a freezer 
was installed at the Station and was used to evaluate the suitabil- 
ity of the many varieties of canning crops for freezing. 18 This 
activity coincided with Tressler's appointment in the Chemistry 
Division in 1933. The impact of his expertise in quick-freezing 
technology on these programs is discussed in the Chemistry 
chapter XIX. 

Members of the Division were active in developing new varieties 
of vegetables suitable for New York soils and climates as well as 
having the qualities demanded by the canners, freezers, and the 
public. Promising varieties of tomatoes, peas, beans, pumpkins, 
squash, and cucumbers came from this breeding effort. A new 
parthenocarpic (fruit production without fertilization) green- 
house cucumber was developed and distributed widely for 
evaluation under the name "Geneva." 19 

A major project of the Division during the Hedrick years was the 
preparation and publishing of the series of monographs on 
Vegetables of New York. After the Fruits of New York series had been 
published and widely acclaimed, Hedrick proposed a new series 
on vegetables. The State legislature approved the project in 1922. 
Sayre provides an interesting account of the preparation of the 
first monograph on peas. 20 It should be noted that this activity 
started six years prior to Hedrick becoming director and while 
the vegetable researchers were members of his Division of Horti- 
culture. When Hedrick had the appropriation, he searched for a 
"man" to take on the project. By chance, he ran across Frank Hall 
picking up drop apples in the entomology orchard. Hall had been 
the Station Editor in Jordan's time but had been institutionalized 
following a serious nervous breakdown. The only work he found 
upon release from the sanitarium was grading apples for the 
entomologists. Hedrick hired Hall for the vegetable project. He 
had the library and scientific skills for the assignment but was 
lacking in knowledge of planting and growing crops. In 1925, 
Leslie Hawthorn, an Englishman who took a degree at Cornell 
and was interested in vegetables, was hired as an assistant to 
Hall. The taxonomic work was done by Alwin Berger whom 

—265 — 

Station State Fair exhibit of 
pumpkin and squash, 1951. 

Hedrick had brought earlier from Germany to work on the Fruits 
of New York books. Sayre stated in his oral history of the Depart- 
ment of Vegetable Crops, "The Peas of New York was the first 
publication on that series. It came out in 1928. Director U. P. 
Hedrick was listed as author and then in smaller type, under- 
neath his name, the title page said 'assisted by F. H. Hall, L. R. 
Hawthorn, and Alwin Berger.'" 21 Sayre felt that Hedrick failed to 
give proper recognition to the people that did the work and the 

Hall died in 1930 and Hawthorn resigned. They were replaced by 
William Tapley and Walter Enzie. The second monograph, Beans 
of New York, was published in 1931, again with Hedrick as the 
author "assisted by" Tapley, Enzie, and Van Eseltine. Even 
though Hedrick stated in the Preface that the text had been 
written by the "assistants," they resented not being listed as co- 
authors. 22 

The Sweet Corn and Curcurbits monographs had also been 
authorized. Sayre stated "When the next publications of the 
Vegetables of New York were to come out, I made it clear with 
Hedrick that these would not be Hedrick's publications. They 
would be publications of these men that had done the work. 
After that we had no more appropriations for the Vegetables of 
New York." 23 The same year in his History of the Department of 
Vegetable Crops, Sayre provides a slightly different version: "For 
some reason, a decision was made to eliminate Hedrick's name 
on future volumes. He wasn't very well pleased. Work was going 


on all the books simultaneously, and the curcurbit and sweet corn 
books had been authorized and work was proceeding on them so 
that they were not affected, but no other books were authorized. I 
don't know whether this had any connection with the fact that 
Hedrick's name was taken off. Anyhow, the sweet corn (1934) 
and the curcurbits (1937) books did not have Hedrick's name on 
them." Lest we be too harsh on Hedrick, it should be recalled that 
the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, and 
the director most likely had a number of items with much higher 
priorities than more vegetable books. Actually the members of 
the division continued to plant and evaluate many processing 
vegetables over the succeeding years. These plots were inspected 
each year by many farmers and representatives from the veg- 
etable processing companies. 

Vegetable Crops (1942-1974): When Heinicke moved into the 
Director's office in 1942, the professional staff members of the 
Division of Vegetable Crops were: C. B. Sayre, M.S.; W. T. Tapley, 
M.S.; and W. D. Enzie, Ph.D. Over the next two decades there 
were a number of staff changes, and two new faculty positions 
were added. The improvement of vegetable crops was a rapidly 
expanding research field with numerous opportunities in univer- 
sities, federal agencies, and industry for young scientists with 
training in this field. Thus, there were several early resignations 
of young faculty, and two new faculty positions were added. 
Also, the department had a few graduate students and non-Ph.D. 

In 1941 there was a war-time scarcity of rubber. The U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture asked the Station to experiment with Russian 
dandelions as a substitute source. Tapley planted over an acre of 
Taraxacum Kok-saghyz at the Canning Crops farm. The average 
yield of rubber produced in the roots was 60 pounds per acre. 
This rate was higher than that in other parts of the United States, 
but it was too low to be practical. Also, during the war, there was 
a demand for new vegetable varieties suitable for dehydration. 
Those available at that time were nearly inedible when dehy- 
drated. The Chemistry Department set up a dehydrator in the 
basement of Sturtevant Hall where varieties of vegetables grown 
by the Department were tested for their suitability for dehydra- 
tion. Several varieties were found to be very promising. 24 

The Department responded to a tomato industry's problem of too 
much or too little acidity in various tomato products. For tomato 
puree or soup, low acidity was needed and for juice manufacture 
high acidity was preferred. The Department collaborated with 


industry and determined the factors needed to produce high or low 
acidity in tomatoes. 25 

In 1947, three new tomato varieties, Gem, Red Jacket, and Long 
Red, developed by W. T. Tapley were introduced. Gem was early 
maturing, designed primarily for growers in Orleans County who 
had extensive orchards and wanted to have work for migrant 
workers between the snap bean season and the beginning of apple 
harvest. Gem was right for the purpose except that it was not 
highly productive. Red Jacket was very distinctive and became a 
very popular variety, accounting for about half of processing 
tomatoes in New York State in a few years. Long Red had high 
quality but matured late in the season. 26 

Tapley crossed Gem with a paste-type tomato from Italy and 
selected a determinate habit variety with oval shaped fruit. It was 
named Red Top in 1948. It was the first determinate paste variety 
ever developed, and was the first tomato variety successfully 
harvested mechanically. Unfortunately, it was not disease resistant, 
but Tapley, in cooperation with W. T. Schroeder in Plant Pathology, 
bred and developed a verticillium resistant variety named Geneva 
11. Although Tapley's main interest was tomato breeding, he also 
did breeding of winter squash with high yields, high dry matter 
content, and good processing quality. He released one named 
variety, Red Skin, and gave many of his breeding lines to other 
plant breeders for their use. 

Enzie retired in early 1943 after 13 years at the Station to accept a 
position with Birdseye, a New York freezing company. He had 
assisted Tapley with the vegetable monographs and initiated 
breeding programs with peas, seed corn, muskmelons, and squash. 
He made the important discovery of cucumber mosaic virus resis- 
tance in melons. 

Enzie was replaced the same year by John I. Shafer, a Ph.D. botanist 
from Cornell University specializing in plant physiology. He did 
much good research during the three years before he resigned in 
1946. He began breeding peas for heat tolerance and root rot resis- 
tance. This was the beginning of the department's pea breeding 
program. He collaborated with Professor Sayre in soil deficiency 
investigations of beets and other vegetables. They determined that 
tomato yields in the acid soils in Chautauqua County could be 
increased from 1.5 tons to 12.5 tons per acre by the addition of lime 
and fertilizer. Beet yields in the Geneva area were dramatically 
increased by the addition of sodium in the form of salt or other 
sodium containing product. 27 Shafer resigned September 30, 1946. 

-268 — 

Curtis H. Dearborn, with a Ph.D. in plant breeding from Cornell, 
was appointed October, 1946 to replace Shafer. During his four 
years at Geneva, he was involved in several studies, including 
chemical weed control with 2,4-D in sweet corn; common salt in 
beets and various chemicals in peas; and breeding early maturing, 
high yielding, good quality yellow varieties of sweet corn for 
canning and freezing. He also initiated a breeding program to 
develop heat-tolerant, root-rot resistant peas. He resigned May 16, 
1950 to accept a U. S. Department of Agriculture research position 
in Alaska where he would have fewer restrictions on his research 
programs. 28 

The first new professional position in the Department since 1925 
was established in the 1944-1945 state budget. John F. Davis, with 
several years experience in vegetable fertilizer and cultural research 
at Michigan State College, was appointed to the position December 
1, 1944. He worked with Sayre in expanded soil-fertilizer-plant 
nutrition studies of processing vegetables. He also collaborated 
with Schroeder in Plant Pathology in a large field experiment to 
determine the effects of seven five-year canning crop rotations on 
the incidence of root rot, quality and yield of peas and the structure 
and fertility of the soil. He also conducted field tests on the nitro- 
gen requirements of nodule forming legume crops suffering from 
root rots. Unfortunately, sickness in his family forced him to resign 
and return to Michigan. 29 

After Sayre's experiences with these short-term people, he was 
justified in recording in his Department history: "I was very fortu- 
nate then in getting Morrie Vittum to succeed him (Shafer) and he 
came here in 1946." 30 Vittum worked with Sayre in fertilizer rate, 
ratio, and placement experiments. He cooperated with Tapley on 
the interactions of tomato varieties with fertility levels and contin- 
ued the cooperative studies with Schroeder in Plant Pathology on 
the influence of fertilizers on the incidence of root rot and yields of 
peas. In 1950, he established a long-term experiment on the Darrow 
Farm where a new farm pond had been constructed to determine 
the interactions of irrigation, fertility levels, and varieties and 
spacing of five crops. Vittum was named Department Head in 1960, 
a position he held until his retirement in 1983. 

Donald W. Barton was appointed Associate Professor in 1951 to 
replace Dearborn. He had had post-doctoral experience with the 
Atomic Energy Commission at the University of Missouri after his 
Ph.D. studies at the University of California at Berkeley in genet- 
ics. He was the first professionally trained geneticist in the De- 
partment. In fact, he was one of the first with specialized training 


to be hired in departments other than Food Science and Technol- 
ogy during Director Heinicke's administration. He was assigned 
the pea and sweet corn breeding programs. One of his major 
contributions, in cooperation with Schroeder, was the discovery 
of pea enation resistance in a plant from the Plant Introduction 
collection and incorporating it into peas. They bred the resistant 
Perfection 60 and Perfected Freezer 60, which were commercially 
successful for many years. Commercial processors and seedsmen 
incorporated this resistance gene in their new varieties. Barton 
was appointed Head of the Vegetable Crops Department when 
Sayre retired June 1, 1959, a position he held for only one year 
before his appointment as Director of the Station July 1, 1960. 

John D. Atkin was appointed in 1953 to a new position that was 
established in response to pressures from the snap bean industry. 
He was assigned to the development of snap beans adapted to 
once-over destructive mechanical machine harvesting, which was 
rapidly replacing the non-destructive hand harvesting. Atkin 
solved the bitter carrot storage problem when he discovered that 
it was caused by exposure to ethylene. The solution was to not 
store apples, which produce ethylene, with carrots. Later, Atkin 
initiated breeding programs on lima beans, broccoli, and cauli- 
flower. He incorporated resistance to fusarium yellows in cab- 
bage. He resigned in 1964. 

Gerald A. Marx was hired March 1, 1958, as acting Assistant 
Professor while Barton was on sabbatical leave, and was ap- 
pointed to this position September 1, 1960 when Barton was 
selected as the next Director. In a major reorganization of Depart- 
mental responsibilities, Marx assumed responsibility for the pea 
breeding and genetics programs, and the small carrot and beet 
breeding programs. 

Nathan H. Peck was appointed Assistant Professor August 1, 

1959, to fill the vacancy when Professor Sayre retired January 1, 

1960. He had been a graduate assistant in the department and 
earned his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1956. He had been an agrono- 
mist for the BirdsEye Division of General Food before joining the 
Geneva faculty. He was assigned the soil/plant nutrition pro- 
gram and conducted research on cultural practices on spacing, 
irrigation, and planting on raised beds. 

Professor Sayre had a 35-year scientific career at the Geneva 
Station beginning as an Associate Horticulturist in 1925. He was 
promoted to Professor in 1928 and appointed Head of the newly 
formed Department of Vegetable Crops in 1930, a position he 

-270 — - 

held until retirement in 1960. He made many contributions. He 
demonstrated that the soil pathogens proliferate and drastically 
reduce yields when peas or tomatoes are planted on the same 
land more that two and four consecutive years respectively. He 
determined the proper rates, ratios, and placement of fertilizers 
for maximum yield and quality of processing vegetables. He 
worked on methods of producing strong healthy transplants of 
several crops. He developed effective starter solutions for trans- 
planted crops and a heat method for scheduling the planting of 
peas so that growers could schedule their plantings to avoid a 
glut at harvest. He led the department from a one to an eight 
member unit. 31 Sayre had been an officer in the U. S. Army prior 
to becoming a scientist and ran his department in a military 
manner. Vittum has provided an example from his own experi- 
ence. Vittum and a technician were shelling peas on a Saturday 
afternoon and ended up with about 200 pounds of shelled peas. At 
that time, shelled peas were sold to a cannery in Monroe County 
more than 50 miles from the Station. Vittum decided it was not 
worthwhile to take this small batch to the cannery Sayre was 
furious when he learned of the decision and, pointing a finger at 
Vittum, said: "You countermanded my orders." Sayre suffered 
from ulcers and was in poor health later in life. He was charming 
with the ladies, was an excellent dancer, and the ladies hoped he 
would ask them to dance. 32 Vittum, Barton, and a few others 
learned to ignore his tirades but some elected to move elsewhere. 

Plant Introduction Station (NE-9): As reported in Chapter IX, 
Director Heinicke was a strong supporter of the Station and was 
instrumental in bringing the Northeastern Regional Plant Intro- 
duction (PI) Station to Geneva in 1948. At that time, Heinicke was 
chairman of the NE-9 Committee that supervised the regional 
activities of the 12 northeast states and 14 experiment stations 
(New York and Connecticut had two each). 33 Desmond D. Dolan 
was selected Coordinator of the new program and arrived Octo- 
ber 15, 1953. He was administratively under Director Heinicke for 
several years until the unit was placed administratively in the 
Department of Seed Investigations where Dolan was given a 
courtesy appointment as Associate Professor. Samuel Braverman, 
Plant Pathologist, joined the PI staff and was given a courtesy 
appointment as Assistant Professor in 1959 in the same depart- 

The regional PI Station at Geneva, one of four in the United 
States, was part of the National Plant Germplasm System. Crops 
originally assigned to Geneva included peas, cucumbers, squash, 
tomatoes, and cauliflower. The unit was responsible for the 


Morrill Vittum, vegetable scientist 
and later Head of the Department 
of Seed and Vegetable Sciences. 

evaluation, multiplication, and preservation of germplasm from 
introductions of these crops obtained from both foreign and 
domestic explorations. It provided a service to plant breeders and 
other crop improvement specialists in evaluating and multiplying 
germplasm of seeds collected throughout the world. The 
germplasm was carefully preserved and made available to plant 
breeders and others for crop improvement. Since resistance to 
diseases and insects is of great importance, plant introductions 
are screened by special techniques for resistance genes. 

Seed and Vegetable Sciences (1974-1982): By 1974, the Depart- 
ments of Seed Investigations and Vegetable Crops had grown but 
were still relatively small with seven and six professional posi- 
tions respectively. Faced with fiscal constraints in the early 1970s, 
Director Barton sought ways to reduce administrative costs. He 
gained approval from Cornell administration to join the depart- 
ments and appointed Vittum Head of the new Department of 
Seed and Vegetable Sciences in 1974. 34 Adding the word "Sci- 
ences" to the department name was more than a simple addition 
of a word. It reflected a change from the Heinicke 
administration's policy that all chemistry and related technolo- 
gies should be in the Food Science and Technology Department 
to Director Barton's approach that specialists could and should be 
located in departments where they are needed. In the new de- 
partment, there were a few with specialized training: plant 
pathologist Alconero, microbiologist Harman, and plant physi- 
ologist Khan. Comparable additions had been made in Entomol- 
ogy and Plant Pathology with Director Barton's support as noted 
in Chapter X. 

Stanton Shannon was appointed Assistant Professor of Vegetable 
Crops in 1962. His primary research efforts were to determine 
the advantages and problems of old and new processing variet- 
ies. He provided valuable information that was greatly appreci- 
ated by the food processors over the years until his retirement in 

Richard Robinson was appointed in 1962 as Assistant Professor 
with specialization in genetics and breeding of processing veg- 
etable crops. Later, when Ithaca discontinued all research on 
lettuce, he initiated a project on developing lettuce and squash 
resistant to virus diseases. This was conducted in collaboration 
with Rosario Provvidenti of the Department of Plant Pathology. 
Using wild related species, they developed useful resistant 
strains by conventional breeding. This was prior to John 
Sanford's development of the gene gun. They also were success- 

— 272-^ 

ful in breeding disease resistant vegetables, especially cucurbit 

Michael H. Dickson had been appointed to the former Vegetable 
Crops Department as an Assistant Professor in 1964. He devel- 
oped a productive research program and had been promoted to 
Associate rank when the departments were joined in 1974. His 
work during the 1974 to 1982 period was very impressive. It 
included a study of the genetics of seed defects in beans and the 
development of screening procedures to improve the quality of 
green bean seeds. These led to the elimination of poor quality in 
green beans. He was invited to Australia for a year to help solve a 
major quality problem in their seed industry. 

Dickson also investigated cold tolerance in beans and developed 
the first cold tolerant beans. Amazingly, these were also heat 
tolerant. As a result, many bean breeding efforts in the United 
States and the tropics used this germplasm to breed heat toler- 
ance. As a result of this work, the quality of green beans was no 
longer a problem. Dickson, in collaboration with microbiologist 
John Stamer in the Food Science and Technology Department, 
developed strains of cabbage grown for sauerkraut with in- 
creased dry matter content. The pack-out content was increased 
from seven to nine per cent to 25 per cent and eliminated the 
problem of excessive brine waste disposal from kraut factories, a 
major problem up to this time. After the development of the high 
solids ("HiDri") cabbage, most kraut cabbage has had high solid 
content. In recognition of their major contribution, Dickson and 
Stamer were awarded the American Society for Horticultural 
Sciences "Campbell Soup Award" in 1977. 


1 NYSAES 1st Ann. Rpt. 1882, pp. 12-13. 

2 Department of Agriculture and Markets. Funding for the routine seed testing 
was provided by the Department of Agriculture and Markets (later Depart- 
ment of Environmental Conservation) annually, under contract. 

3 NYSAES Dir. Rpt. 1912, p. 518. 

4 Necrology of the Faculty 1956-1957, p. 14. 

5 M. T. Munn, Spraying lawns with iron sulfate to eradicate dandelions. 
Station Bui. 466, 8 pp. Sept. 1919. 

6 NYSAES 55th Ann. Rpt. 1936, p. 17. 

7 Heit, C. E. 1958. A new concept and new fields of germination testing. In 
Fifty Years of Seed Testing. Am. Assoc. Office. See Anal. Golden Jubilee 

s Glass, E. H. and W. F. Crosier, 1949. The viability of seeds fumigated with an 

acrylonitrile-carbon tetrachloride mixture. J. Econ. Ent. 42:646-649. 

Khan, A. A. 1971. Cytokinins: permissive role in seed germination. Science 

10 Khan, A. A. (ed.) 1977. The Physiology and Biochemistry of Seed Dormancy 

and Germination. North Holland Pub. Co., NY. and Khan, A. A. (ed.) 1982. 


The Physiology and Biochemistry of Seed Development, Dormancy and 
Gernmination. Elsevier Press, NY. 
NYSAES Bui. 474, 32 pp., 1920. 
NYSAES Bui. 459, 69 pp., 1919. 
Barton, personal communication, 8/21/96. 

Sayre, HISTORY, Department of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, transcribed from 
a tape recording of a talk made 10 March 1965 pp. 7-8. 
NYSAES 49th Ann. Rpt. 1930, pp. 11-12. 
1990 terminology is "sustainable." 
NYSAES Bui. 619, 1933: pp. 50. 

NYSAES 50th. Ann. Rpt. 1931, p. 94 and NYSAES 51st Ann. Rpt. 1932, pp. 

NYSAES Bui. 580, 1930: pp. 11. 

Sayre, HISTORY, Department of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, transcribed from 
a tape recording of a talk made 10 March 1965, pp. 1-5. 

Sayre, HISTORY, Department of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, transcribed from 
a tape recording of a talk made 10 March 1965, p. 5. 

Sayre, HISTORY, Department of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, transcribed from 
a tape recording of a talk made 10 March 1965, p. 6. 
Sayre, Oral History, 1962, pp. 17-18. 

Sayre, C. B., 1965, History, Dept. of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, p. 17, tran- 
scribed from a tape recording of a March 10, 1965 talk. Copy in Station 
Library office, Dec. 1981. 

Sayre, C. B., 1965, History, Dept. of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, p. 19, tran- 
scribed from a tape recording of a March 10, 1965 talk. Copy in Station 
Library office, Dec. 1981. 

Sayre, C. B., 1965, History, Dept. of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, p. 20, tran- 
scribed from a tape recording of a March 10, 1965 talk. Copy in Station 
Library office, Dec. 1981. 

Sayre, C. B., 1965, History, Dept. of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, pp. 21-22, 
transcribed from a tape recording of a March 10, 1965 talk. Copy in Station 
Library office, Dec. 1981. 

M. T. Vittum, personal communication, May, 1992. 
M. T. Vittum, personal communication, May, 1992. 

Sayre, C. B., 1965, History, Dept. of Vegetable Crops, NYSAES, p. 18, tran- 
scribed from a tape recording of a March 10, 1965 talk. Copy in Station 
Library office, Dec. 1981. 

Memorial Statements, Cornell University Faculty, 1979-80, pp. 46-47. 
M. T Vittum, personal communication, 5/4/95. 
D. D. Dolan, personal communication, 8/19/96. 
D. W. Barton, personal communication, 8/21/96. 

• — 274 — - 


Integrated Pest 

The first 100 years of the Station from 1882 to 1982, re- 
ported in this Station history, span the great evolution in 
agriculture in the United States from small farms serving 
predominantly local markets for most products, especially fruits 
and vegetables, to larger and larger farms serving markets in 
many states and even foreign countries. With these changes came 
the demand for prevention of even modest losses caused by 
insects, diseases, and other pests. Farmers were also faced with 
newly introduced pests such as the San Jose scale, Mexican bean 
beetle, and alfalfa weevil. Prior to World War II, a number of 
inorganic fungicides and insecticides were used to protect crops 
from old and new pests. After the War, many new and highly 
effective organic fungicides and insecticides were introduced. 
Unfortunately, resistant pathogens, mite and insect pests evolved 
resulting in the need for increased use of pesticides. By the 1960s 
and 1970s, there was much concern about the future of pest 
control among crop protection scientists. Also, the public became 
alarmed about the impact of pesticides on human health and the 

Former Directors' home converted 
to new Integrated Pest Manage- 
ment Unit's quarters. 

James Tette, Director oflPM Unit. 

environment. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring 1 dramatized the 
problem to the public and the government. The term "Integrated 
Pest Management" as opposed to "pest control" became the 
popular alternative concept in government and private circles. The 
federal government initiated two national pest management 
research projects: the Huffaker project in 1972 and the Consortium 
for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM) project, 1978 to 1982. 

In addition to these specially funded efforts, other investigators 
were studying IPM approaches to pest control. 2 The U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture and a number of state Experiment Station 
scientists, including a number from Geneva and Ithaca, began to 
concentrate on research designed to further the IPM approach to 
pest control to reduce the use of pesticides to the essential mini- 

Plant pathologists and entomologists at Geneva and Ithaca had 
often followed the principles of IPM many years before the term 
was "invented." Wilbur Mills, extension fruit pathologist at Ithaca 
developed the "Mills Apple Scab Chart" in the 1940s, which 
provided the number of hours of wet apple foliage required to 
cause scab infection of apples at various temperatures. Geneva 
plant pathologists James Hamilton and Michael Szkolnik, in 
careful laboratory, greenhouse, and field tests devised more spe- 
cific recommendations about when sprays were needed and when 
they were not. Growers were then able to safely eliminate all the 
non-essential scab sprays. More details are found in Chapter XIII. 


Examining pheromone trap for red- 
banded leafroller moths. 

Entomologists Paul Chapman and Siegfried Lienk and horticultur- 
ist Otis Curtis made a study of the need to control mites attacking 
apples. These mites feed only on the foliage and do not directly 
attack the fruit. In carefully conducted field experiments, they 
determined that light to moderate late-season mite damage did not 
affect the quality and quantity of the fruit. Conversely early season 
leaf damage not only reduced the quality and quantity of the crop 
the same year but also very significantly reduced the bloom and 
productivity the following season. This information enabled 
growers to apply miticides only when benefits would result (See 
Chapter XII for additional information). 

Cornell, both at Geneva and Ithaca, was in the vanguard of the 
development of the "new" integrated pest management (IPM) for 
pests of agricultural crops and ornamentals. Ithaca entomologists 
were involved in an IPM project on alfalfa in 1972, funded by the 
National Research Foundation (NSF) and the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA). This effort was administered by the 
University of California and was known as the "Huffaker" project. 
The Huffaker project was followed by another national research 
project, the Consortium for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM), 
funded by the USDA and EPA and administered by Texas A&M 
University. Harvey Reissig, Station fruit entomologist, received 
CIPM funding for a four-year study of mite predators on apples. 
CIPM also provided funds for research on alfalfa at Ithaca. 

In 1972, Dr. Glass organized an interdisciplinary committee, 
which included as members: P. Arneson, plant pathologist (exten- 
sion); J. Brann entomologist (extension); O. Curtis, pomologist; J. 

-277 — 

Gilpatrick, plant pathologist); E. Glass, entomologist (chairman); 
J. Hunter, plant pathologist; S. Lienk, entomologist; W. Roelofs, 
chemist; and K. Trammel, entomologist. This group prepared a 
research/extension proposal: "Pest Management on Apple with 
Reduced Amounts of Pesticides" for submission to the U. S. 
Department of Agriculture, Extension Service. In 1973, a $75,000 
grant was awarded to the Geneva Departments of Entomology 
and Plant Pathology for a combined Geneva-Ithaca interdiscipli- 
nary research /extension project to develop and demonstrate IPM 
practices for apples. It was administered by the Geneva Entomol- 
ogy Department. James Tette, a chemist who had been a post 
doctoral associate with Roelofs researching sex pheromones for 
monitoring insect pests and had worked briefly with a chemical 
firm producing pheromones, was selected to lead the U. S. De- 
partment of Agriculture apple IPM project. 

Under Tette's able leadership and in cooperation with Cornell 
Research and extension staffs at Geneva and Ithaca, the program 
flourished. Significant progress was made in developing sound 
IPM programs for apples and other commodities. A group of 
scientists was assembled to support IPM activities on a wider 
range of commodities, and in 1980, the College of Agriculture 
and Life Sciences created a separate IPM Support Group, with 
Tette as group leader. The Group was housed in the vacant 
Director's Residence 3 on the Geneva Station campus. 

The primary focus of the IPM Support Group was on the needs of 
the commodities as they related to the integration of information 
from many disciplines. It conducted both applied research and 
extension work to facilitate the exchange of information and 
ideas among various disciplines, leading to the development of 
pest management strategies that are effective and economical for 
growers. A few of the earlier contributions of the IPM Support 
Group made prior to 1982 (during the period covered in this 
History) and the following few years are summarized below to 
inform the reader of the nature of its activities and successes. 
These were: 

• Provided an extensive on-farm evaluation of a moni- 
toring system for apple maggot (a major pest of 
apple) in 3000 acres of commercial plantings and 
recommend pesticide applications based on a combi- 
nation of trap catches, weather data, previous pesti- 
cide use and nearness to sources of maggot infesta- 

— 278— 

• Established a statewide weather and biological 
monitoring network that provides uniform and 
timely information on weather, pests, and crop 
development from sites maintained by 18 volunteer 

• Pioneered the use of electronic technology to fore- 
cast, track, and record pest activity and to document 
crop and weather parameters. It provided the first 
on-line information system for the College of Agricul- 
ture and Life Sciences. Later, it became the corner- 
stone for an extension wide system. 

• Assimilated data on the economics of the several IPM 
programs under evaluation to provide growers with 
the basis for judging the economic impact of the 
systems being offered. These data proved valuable to 
private consultants. Also growers established pest 
management associations to obtain IPM services. 

On the basis of these early successes, the New York state 
governor's office and state legislature provided funding in 1986 
to continue the operation of the Integrated Pest Management 
Support Group. 4 



Carson, R. 1962. Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston. 368 pp. 
One Hundred Years of Agricultural Research at Cornell University: A 
celebration of the centennial of the Hatch Act, 1887-1987, Ithaca, NY: Office 
of Research, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, 
1987. pp. 184-188. 

The Director's home was built during Director Jordan's administration and 
had been occupied by him and each succeeding director until Director 
Barton elected to move to a private home in Geneva in 1979. It was con- 
verted to an office facility for the IPM Support Group. 
One Hundred Years of Agricultural Research at Cornell University: A 
celebration of the centennial of the Hatch Act, 1887-1987, Ithaca, NY: Office 
of Research, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, 
1987. p. 187. 




The status of knowledge in the field of bacteriology in 
1882 was very limited, especially in relation to food 
production, preservation, and safety. The Station was 
established only two decades after Pasteur's discovery of the 
role of microorganisms in wine and other beverages. Not only 
their impact was not well known, the taxonomic status and 
identification capabilities were limited and crude at best. In 
light of this situation, the contributions to basic and applied 
bacteriology of Station bacteriologists from 1899 when the first 
bacteriologist was employed, until 1945 were outstanding and 
received world-wide recognition. 

The major research efforts of Station bacteriologists from 1899 
to 1945 were in three applied areas: dairy, fruits and vegetable, 
and soil inoculants. They found early that the lack of taxo- 
nomic information on microscopic organisms was a major 
obstacle in their work and all members were involved in 

Drawings of milk smears as seen 
under the microscope of good 
quality milk (left) and (right) milk 
which is nearly sour. 


1'iS. I!.— - Miiii wjueli Is scnrly ;«(. Ti.r- n:;i]«rit;v of tin- 
!™-t--ria ;«r krctU 1 :sciit toi-lt-riu Oin; lii-B'":!!. l-l:i'.-i.-ri:il 
wuui -->Ai».eQft.«.V't»erc.c. CVi! eomti — K»,f'flO jkt r. c . 

Fi«. 4, - .Milk 
wuularv ■ | us i is. i 
HXyiWMK*) per 

UMtdta cuum - 


Early milk receiver and pasteur- 

efforts to correct the problem. In fact, two Station bacteriolo- 
gists became world leaders in the taxonomy and identification 
of bacteria. 

H. A. Harding (M.S.), the Station's first bacteriologist, reported 
for duty January 1, 1899. He was officially listed as a Dairy 
Bacteriologist from 1899 to 1905, but thereafter, simply, as 
Bacteriologist. M. S. Prucha was appointed Assistant Bacteri- 
ologist September 9, 1903. Harding's studies the first year were 
limited to determining the effectiveness of continuous pasteur- 
izing equipment in reducing the bacterial count in milk held at 
various temperatures. He found a temperature of 176 °F highly 
effective. The next year he extended his program to include 
studies on the causes of off flavors in milk and cheese and a 
rusty spotting of cheddar cheese. 

In 1902, a commercial cannery of peas sought help in solving a 
serious can-swelling problem. Harding quickly discovered the 
trouble was caused by bacteria that had survived the canning 
temperatures employed in canneries. This finding led him to 
test the applicability of higher canning temperatures and 
longer holding periods to achieve total sterilization of the peas 
without altering their quality. Eventually, he found both goals 
could be reached by subjecting peas to a temperature of 240°F 
for 30 minutes. This new procedure was widely adopted by 
New York pea canners with excellent results. 

■281 —■ 

Studies were started in Germany in 1883 to determine if it was 
possible to obtain desired stands of alfalfa and other legumes by 
inoculating the soil with Pseudomonas radicicola, the bacterium 
which produces nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots of these 
plants. Transferring soil from a field where this organism was 
known to be established to a new field gave positive results. But, 
this was a rather laborious practice. So, interest developed in the 
possibility of establishing the organism in a new site by inoculat- 
ing the seed. On March 12, 1904, a member of the Bureau of Plant 
Industry of the U. S. Department of Agriculture obtained a patent 
for a seed inoculating method. Users of it were to be supplied 
with a culture of P. radicicola on dry cotton and some culture 
chemicals. After dissolving the latter in water, the cotton culture 
was added. Then, after a holding period of three to four days, the 
inoculate, which was presumed to have been produced, was 
ready for treating the seed. Results were erratic but farmers, 
nationwide, became very interested in this new development. 

The Station soil bacteria program at this time consisted of: (1) 
attempts to relate the population levels of certain bacteria to soil 
nutritional deficiencies, (2) the inspection of commercial legume 
inoculants and studies in an attempt to improve inspection 
methods, and (3) the identification of certain important soil 
bacteria. 1 

It was at this juncture that Harding, along with bacteriologists in 
other state stations, undertook studies to provide answers to the 
questions growers raised as to the viability, purity, and effective- 
ness of this method. He quickly learned, by use of an agar- 
cultural method, that some commercial samples of the inoculate 
contained either no living P. radicicola or only insignificant num- 
bers. It was evident the bacterium was unable to survive on dry 
cotton over the interval between its addition to the cotton and the 
use of the product by the grower. In 1906, Harding and Prucha 
finally concluded: "Cultures of legume bacteria dried upon 
cotton according to the (Bureau's) method have been tested by 
sixteen Agricultural Experiment Stations in 1904-1905, and all 
have found such cultures to be of little or no practical value." 2 

Obviously, seed bearing few or no living P. radicicola could hardly 
be expected to inoculate soil. Harding, therefore, decided to 
supply a few grower-cooperators with seed, which was known to 
carry a living culture of the organism. Results were negative. 
Harding's final efforts to find the best means of producing good 
stands of alfalfa involved the cooperation of more than 100 
farmers. Compared by them were: no treatment, lime at a rate of 

- — 282— 

1,500 pounds per acre, soil from a field supporting an abundance 
of P. radicicola at a rate of 150-300 pounds per acre, and where 
both lime and the inoculated soil were used. He found that no 
treatment was needed on about 20 per cent of the fields, that lime 
used alone gave good results in 60 per cent of the fields, and 
where both lime and inoculated soil were added the success rate 
was about 80 per cent. 3 

With the departure of M. J. Prucha in 1911, H. J. Conn was ap- 
pointed to the staff as an Associate Bacteriologist. Conn's gradu- 
ate studies at Cornell were conducted in the field of soil bacteriol- 
ogy. At Geneva, he undertook studies on the bacteria occurring in 
the soil and their relationship to soil fertility. 

H. J. Conn found that certain non spore-forming soil bacteria 
were abundant in good soils and either scarce or absent in poor 
soils. These studies were continued since they indicated the 
possibility that a method might be developed to use the bacteria 
"to determine what sort of fertilization to give a soil." By 1934, he 
had found a single bacterial species giving quite promising 
results in relation to the foregoing goal. Studies made in 1935 and 
1936 continued promising but, in 1937, problems were encoun- 
tered. Some "unknown factors appeared to influence the results. 
(Thus, these factors) often had more influence on the numbers of 
bacteria (that developed in the tests) than the nutrients added to 
the soil." 4 The "unknown factor" was determined to be the level 
of soil moisture. Continued testing confirmed that air-dried soil is 
not a suitable medium for the growth of certain soil bacteria. 5 

For a number of years, the Division had conducted studies on 
Pseudomonas radicicola, the bacterium which produces nitrogen- 
fixing nodules on the roots of alfalfa and other legumes. In 1930, 
H. J. Conn published a Station Circular 6 reporting the status of 
the inoculants of this organism being sold in New York. Partly as 
a result of the information provided here, the legislature decided 
to pass legislation effective January 1, 1931 requiring companies 
selling the inoculants in New York to register with the state 
Department of Agriculture and Markets. The Station was "di- 
rected" in this law to analyze samples of these products to deter- 
mine if they met the claims of the manufacturer. The Department 
was authorized to disallow the sale of all products failing to meet 
these claims. Locally, this project became the primary responsibil- 
ity of A. J. Hofer who had joined the staff on July 1, 1931. He 
found that 47 per cent of the samples examined in 1931 were 
unsatisfactory. This number dropped to 35 per cent in 1932, to 19 
per cent in 1933, and to only 11 per cent in 1934. While these 

283 — 

results were gratifying, Hofer became confronted by some impor- 
tant technical complications. One was the variable effectiveness 
of strains of P. radicicola. Another was the occurrence, in P. 
radicicola cultures, of Bacterium radiobacter Lohnis which, besides 
closely resembling P. radicicola in appearance, is incapable of 
producing nitrogen-fixing nodules. These and other related 
problems were not wholly solved through 19377 

While Harding became rather deeply involved in the legume 
inoculation project, he had not neglected his long standing 
interest in dairy sanitation problems. In 1907, he became a mem- 
ber of the Geneva Board of Health. This gave him an opportunity 
to see what could be done to improve the sanitary quality of the 
city's milk supply. The means he adopted to achieve this end was 
to conduct a systematic inspection of the conditions under which 
milk was produced by the farmers supplying milk to the city. 
Each was graded on a score card and then assigned to one of four 
classes: poor, medium, good, and excellent. The results of these 
inspections were published in Geneva's newspaper. When the 
project was started in 1907, none of the dairies scored "excellent"; 
only 5.0 per cent "good"; 57.5 per cent, "medium"; and 37.5 per 
cent, "poor." By March 1911, however, 11.8 per cent of the dairies 
were found "excellent" and 87.2 per cent, "good." But, this 
favorable situation did not last. And, the reason it didn't was 
economic. After the price support for good sanitary milk was 
removed, dairymen found it did not pay to carry out the clean 
farm practices they had followed earlier. The scoring in 1912 was: 
none scored "excellent," only 18 per cent "good," while 82 per 
cent were scored "medium." Harding's collaboration with 
Geneva to improve the safety of milk was the beginning of many 
years of cooperation between the City and Station bacteriologists. 

As noted earlier, a major problem limiting bacteriological re- 
search at this time was the unsatisfactory status of the taxonomy 
of these organisms. Harding observed that "the limiting factor in 
the study of many agricultural problems is our inability to recog- 
nize and classify quickly the bacteria encountered... For this 
reason it has been found necessary to devote much time to the 
techniques of the laboratory and the study of various types of 
organisms irrespective of their economic relations." 8 In 1913, 
Harding resigned to accept a professorship at the University of 
Illinois. Harding was succeeded by Robert S. Breed, holder of a 
Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. 

Prior to coming to Geneva, Breed had been a Professor of Biology 
at Allegheny College. In his first year, he initiated studies to 


determine the number and "general character" of the bacteria 
present in a given sample of milk through a direct microscopic 
examination. At this time, dairy bacteriologists were using cul- 
tural methods to obtain this information. The possibilities of 
developing a direct microscopic method had long been consid- 
ered, but no simple, accurate procedure had been realized. In 
February 1914, however, T. D. Brew of the Geneva Station's staff 
published such a method. 9 It had the distinct advantage over all 
cultural methods in that the bacterial record could be obtained 
within a matter of minutes; whereas cultural procedures required 
holding periods ranging from several hours up to five days. 
Thus, the direct count method could be used to grade milk 
without interfering with daily marketing procedures. 

The next step taken was to compare the sanitary quality of milk 
produced on individual farms based on barn cleanliness scorings 
and the actual number of bacteria found in the milk. Breed 
reported that no relationship "whatsoever" was found between 
the dairy score cards and the number of bacteria found in the 
milk. In reporting this finding, he said "the intention is not to 
encourage dirty and careless stable conditions but to point out 
the necessity of scoring the milk as it actually is rather than 
scoring the place from which it came. Filthy barn conditions are 
(of course, intolerable)." 10 

In 1915, the Division elected to test the practical applicability of 
the direct count method. To this end it entered into a cooperative 
agreement with the two milk companies that received most of the 
milk used in Geneva, the dairy farmers involved, and the local 
and state boards of health to make a bacterial count of all of the 
milk as it was received at the milk plants. Each lot was assigned 
to one of three bacterial count classes, which then constituted the 
basis for the payment the farmer received for his product. While 
initially the inspections were conducted by the Bacteriology 
Division, a bacteriologist eventually was employed by the city to 
conduct this work. Clearly, this was a unique pioneering effort 
and one which proved most successful. In 1985, George G. 
Hucker, a Geneva Station bacteriologist, put it this way: "This 
project and the contributions the Station made to it put the 
Geneva Station and Geneva on the map, worldwide, in the public 
health field." 11 The Station continued to be associated with the 
program but only in a supervisory capacity. Don Splittstoesser 
made the following statement in describing the Station's contri- 
bution: "The Breed procedure provided a rapid method for 
monitoring the sanitary quality of milk and helped to change 
milk from one of the most dangerous foods to one of the safest." 12 


The accuracy of a bacterial count made by a direct examination of 
a sample of milk continued to be questioned, at that time, by 
some bacteriologists. A sizable number of them still favored the 
agar cultural method. By 1918, however, the direct count method 
was beginning to come into general use. It was accepted that year 
as an official analytical method both by the Committee on Stan- 
dard Methods of Milk Analysis and by the surgeon general of the 
U. S. Army. The direct count method won acceptance by the 
American Public Health Association in 1920. 

The Division continued to cooperate with the city of Geneva in 
the supervision of its milk supply. A report on this effort was 
requested by the state's Mayor's Conference in 1922, and this 
report was published later by the State Department of Health. 
The Geneva plan of securing a clean and sanitary supply of milk 
became the model used by other communities interested in 
developing a similar program. 

Dairy sanitation research and the production of cheeses and ice 
cream constituted a major part of the Division's program. Active 
in these fields were G. J. Hucker, R. S. Breed, and M. W. Yale. 
Some of the work was carried out in close cooperation with the 
Division of Dairying and the Department of Animal Husbandry 
at Cornell. For a number of years, the Division continued to take 
part in the development of Standard Methods for the Bacteriological 
Analysis of Dairy Products issued by the American Public Health 
Association. A new edition of the Methods was in progress in 

The adoption of the use of paper rather than glass containers in 
the marketing of milk raised some sanitation questions. These 
were studied in cooperation with the container manufacturers. 
Much attention was also given to the various problems posed by 
mastitis. It was found "that it was not yet possible to maintain a 
herd free of cows which discharged mastitis streptococci in the 
milk." 13 During the period when the cheese industry was devel- 
oped in this country, New York became noted for its production 
of fine quality products. The division was able to conduct studies 
on the production and quality of cheeses with support of federal 
Bankhead-Jones funds. 14 

Members of the Division continued studies of milk quality and 
safety. They continued to assist the City of Geneva in maintaining 
the quality and safety of its milk and water supplies. Hucker and 
his associates had developed a new method for cleaning and 
sterilizing the equipment and pipes used in milk plants that 

—286 — 

eliminated the laborious disassembling of all the pipes. Howard 
E. Babcock, a very influential person, 15 heard Hucker's speech at 
Farmers' Week on this subject where he told of work at Geneva 
that could eliminate this laborious process. The next morning, 
Babcock called Hucker, offering his dairy equipment to test the 
new system on a commercial scale. The large scale experimental 
testing proved successful; in fact bacterial counts on Babcock's 
milk were lower than they ever had been. With Babcock's influ- 
ence and collaboration with Corning Glass Company, a demon- 
stration was arranged at the Auburn, NY Dairymen's League 
plant in Auburn, New York. The glass pipe lines were sealed by 
the New York City and New York State Departments of Health. 
After several months operation, the units were taken down, but 
leaving the sealed joints intact, and trucked to the Pennsylvania 
Hotel in New York City for inspection by the New York State 
Health officials. Babcock called Hucker to wish him well before 
he left for the meeting. Corning Glass representatives also at- 
tended and provided transportation for Hucker. Hucker reported 
that it was a dramatic moment when the sealed joint were 
opened. He was relieved when all proved to be "perfectly all 
right." This led to official approval of the new method of steriliz- 
ing and cleaning in dairy operations resulting in great savings in 
labor and expense and cleaner and safer milk. 16 

Breed, like Harding before him, was concerned about the con- 
tinuing unsatisfactory state of bacteriological taxonomy. In 1919, 
he made the following observation: "bacteriologists find great 
difficulty in distinguishing between the types or species of bacte- 
ria (encountered)." 17 For some time, the American Bacteriological 
Society had attempted to establish uniform pure culture methods 
and to develop standard means of describing species of bacteria. 
Geneva Station bacteriologists were active contributors in this 
effort. These developments greatly interested Breed. In fact, it 
became his central interest over the remainder of his professional 
career. He is to be credited with having been a leader in the 
efforts made that eventually placed the taxonomy of all bacteria 
on a sound and orderly basis. 

Thatcher years (1921-1927): During the Thatcher years from 1921 
through 1927, the Bacteriology Division continued to be active in 
developing new techniques for conducting studies on the micro- 
organisms occurring in soils, in milk and cheese, on the utensils 
used in marketing milk, and in processed foods. 

By 1921, bacteriologists and other biologists became much con- 
cerned about the shortage of suitable aniline dyes used to stain 


microorganisms and plant and animal sections for microscopic 
examinations. Up to this time, most of these products had come 
from Germany. This shortage, obviously, was created by 
Germany's involvement in World War I. At Geneva, the staff 
members most concerned over this situation were the bacteriolo- 
gists. When they learned that bacteriologists in other laboratories 
were experiencing the same difficulties, a collective decision was 
made to bring the problem to the attention of the Committee in 
Bacteriological Technic of the Society of American Bacteriologists. 
This led to the conduct of cooperative studies between Geneva 
bacteriologists and those in about 30 other laboratories. Eventu- 
ally, this program was taken over by the National Research 
Council. It decided to establish an independent Commission on 
the Standardization of Stains. The Geneva Station made news, in 
this connection, when one of its staff, H. J. Conn, was named 
director of this new venture. As a result of the Commission's 
actions, it was not long before domestically produced stains were 
available which were as good as, or in some instances, better than 
those formerly originating from German sources. Management of 
the commission's affairs and the conduct of research on stains 
eventually became Conn's central interest. In 1926, the Commis- 
sion not only published a book, entitled Biological Stains, but also 
started a new journal, Stain Technology. 

In 1921, all members of the Division were engaged in taxonomic 
studies. Conn, who had joined the staff in 1911, was occupied 
initially with the identification and classification of the species of 
microorganisms occurring in soils. Breed and Hucker studied the 
species encountered in milk and cheese and on the equipment 
used in marketing milk. Hucker, shortly after joining the staff, 
undertook a monographic study of the spherical bacteria of the 
genus Micrococcus. Breed became increasingly involved in a plan 
proposed by D. H. Bergey, University of Pennsylvania, of prepar- 
ing an official publication devoted to the classification of all 
bacteria. In Bergey's plan, he would serve as editor, assisted by a 
board of four trustees representing the Society of American 
Bacteriologists. The plan was soon adopted with Breed serving as 
one of the four trustees. The first edition of this guide appeared in 
1923 under the title of Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriol- 
ogy. It became the standard reference of the discipline. In succeed- 
ing editions, all Geneva Station bacteriologists made contribu- 
tions in updating the manual. In his later years, this project 
became Breed's primary interest. 

In 1920, the Division was asked by the National Research Council 
to determine the accuracy of the counts being made of various 

— 288 — - 

microorganisms occurring in catsup and other processed tomato 
products. The study was undertaken and reported in Station 
Technical Bulletin 91. 18 No satisfactory counting method was 
found. When C. S. Peterson joined the staff in 1925 as the bacteri- 
ologist on the Canning Crops "team," he sought a solution of the 
foregoing tomato problem along with studies on the production 
of sauerkraut. Both of these projects were actively studied. By 
1927, however, the production of sauerkraut and the key role 
strains of the lactic acid bacteria played in the production of this 
product had become his dominant interest. 

Hedrick years (1928-1937): When Pederson joined the staff in 
1925, bacteriological studies on plant food products were ex- 
panded. By 1937, in addition to his work on sauerkraut, catsup, 
chili sauce, and tomato juice, he was involved in studies on the 
preservation of fruit juices, particularly those of grape, apple, and 
cherry. He also researched the oxidized flavors in grape juices, 
especially in various wines. Food poisoning studies were made 
on the micrococci responsible for causing some food poisoning 
epidemics. Pederson also conducted research on the classification 
of some important food associated bacteria. Some of the forego- 
ing projects were carried out in close cooperation with the Divi- 
sion of Chemistry, especially after D. K. Tressler became head of 
the division in 1933. 

All members of the Division continued to be interested in the 
identification of bacteria with which they worked. They also 
contributed to the compilation of Bergey's Manual of Determinative 
Bacteriology and other taxonomic programs. 

Breed soon became deeply involved in studies on the taxonomy 
of all bacteria. In the Station's 1931 Annual Report, he wrote of 
the state of knowledge in this field at that time, as follows: "Un- 
like those biologists who study higher plants and animals, bacte- 
riologists have never generally adopted internationally accepted 
rules, governing the choice of names for the species of bacteria. 
Thereby much confusion and waste of effort has resulted. The 
fact that the organism causing Bang's disease in cattle was origi- 
nally named Bacterium abortus, while the organism in goat's milk 
causing Malta fever was called Micrococcus melitenaia, played its 
part in delaying for many years the recognition of the close 
relationship, or even possible identity of these organisms." 19 

At the First International Microbiological Congress held in Paris 
in July 1930, the body decided to appoint an International Com- 
mission whose duty would be to assist in bringing about uniform 

— 289— 

usage of names of the bacteria. Breed was appointed Permanent 
Secretary of the Commission and, additionally, he would serve the 
fields of Agriculture and Industry associated with milk and milk 
products that constituted the dominant concern of this group. 
Earlier, work in this field had been conducted under the leadership 
of Breed. Later, as he became increasingly occupied with the 
identification of and classification of bacteria, his leadership role in 
milk contamination was transferred to Hucker. 

Most of Hucker 's work in the Hedrick years would be classified as 
dairy sanitation studies. In particular, however, Hucker became 
especially interested in the occurrence of mastitis infections (garget) 
in the udder tissues of dairy cattle and the discharges of the organ- 
ism into milk. Over the years 1932 to 1938 he, in collaboration with 
members of the division of Dairying and the department of Animal 
Husbandry at Cornell, published a series of nine technical Geneva 
Station bulletins on various phases of this subject. Progress was 
made in developing means of coping with the problem. 

Parrott Years (1938-1942): The Bacteriology Division had 48 re- 
search projects under way in 1939: 19 related to dairying, 14 on 
fruits and vegetable processing, eight on soil and soil fertility, four 
on basic bacteriology studies, and three on regulatory issues. Thus, 
research activities of the Division during the last years of the 
Depression and early years of World War II continued along 
similar lines to those of the preceding years. There were no major 
personnel changes. There were, however, some changes in empha- 
sis in response to war related conditions. Bacteriological stains 
were again in short supply as they had been during World War I. 
This time, however, mechanisms and personnel were in place to 
meet the challenge. Conn was still chairman of the Biological Stain 
Commission. The result was that adequate domestic old and new 
stains quickly became available to meet the peace and war-time 
needs of the country. 

Breed and the other members of the division continued their basic 
studies to find methods to identify types of microorganisms found 
in soils, air, dairy, and other food products. Classification and 
physiology of toxin producing types of microorganisms found in 
dairy and other food products were completed, and publications 
were in preparation in 1942. Hucker stated: "The development of 
this manual (Bergey's Manuals of Determinative Bacteriology) brought 
great prestige to Breed of the Bacteriology Department at Geneva 
and to the Experiment Station. It is the only classification of its 
kind in existence, and wherever bacteriology is studied or taught, 
Bergey's Manual remains almost as a Bible." 20 


Bacteriologists who attended the 
World's Dairy Congress. 
(Left to right), Back row: 
Dahlberg, Eglinton, Pederson, 
Herring, Marquardt, Conn, 

Front row: Carpenter, Hedrick, 
Orla-Jensen (Copenhagen), 
Sherman (Ithaca), Breed, 
(circa 1928) 

During World War II, the importation of cheeses dropped dramati- 
cally resulting in a new demand for domestic cheeses. Also, there 
was a surplus supply of milk. Peterson and Hucker worked closely 
with cheese manufacturers and determined that it was possible to 
produce cheese from pasteurized milk equal to or better than 
foreign cheeses. Pederson and others collaborated with Tressler on 
the improvement of sauerkraut and other foods production and 
quality Pederson's most important contributions, however, were 
related to his studies of lactic acid bacteria, which enabled him to 
define the conditions that would consistently produce high quality 
sauerkraut. 21 

It is obvious that members of the Bacteriology Department from the 
late 1800s through 1944 were engaged in one or more aspects of the 
science and technology of dairy and horticultural products. One 
obvious exception was Alvin Hofer who served in a position 
established by action of the state legislature in 1930 to test legume 
inoculants. 22 This matter is discussed in chapter XIV (Food Science 
and Technology). Hucker was working on food problems but 
almost exclusively on dairy problems related to dairy products, 
diseases, or sanitation. Both of these situations led to organizational 
problems when the dairy work was moved to Ithaca and the 
Bacteriology and Chemistry divisions were merged into the new 
Food Science and Technology Department with one head and 
responsibilities limited only to horticultural crops. 

The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was one of the 
leading institutions in the country in the field of dairy sanitation 

— ■ 291 

during the period from the late teens through 1945. This state- 
ment is supported by A. C. Dahlberg's account of its role. 23 He 
relates the close associations in both the Station's dairy and 
bacteriology work with milk production, processing, and manu- 
facturing, "...the overall effort in the field of milk sanitation was 
assumed through industry to be centered in the Experiment 
Station at Geneva. ..that seldom did any short period of time 
pass without someone from the Experiment Station at Geneva 
appearing on programs of local, state, or national organizations 
to present information based upon recent research on sanitary 
milk production." During Hedrick's administration, an annual 
"Dairy Day" was established and continued until the World War 
II years. The project was an immediate success, and there was 
not enough room to park cars or take care of the people who 
came to the first "Dairy Day." State troopers reported up to 
1,200 cars and the crowd varied from 1,000 to 5,000 people. 
Dahlberg noted: "It is my opinion that they did a tremendous 
amount toward developing an interest in dairy research, in 
advanced dairy technology, and a general interest in the industry, 
itself." 24 

In 1945, when the new Department of Food Science and Technol- 
ogy was officially established, the Station bacteriologists were 
conducting a wide range of projects. C. S. Pederson was continu- 
ing his research on sauerkraut and pickle fermentation. A. W. 
Hofer was testing legume inocula for improved crop productiv- 
ity. G. J Hucker was studying sanitation in food processing 
plants. H. J. Conn was chairing the Biological Stain Commission 
and writing manuals on identification of bacteria. R. S. Breed was 
editing the next edition of Bergey's manual. It is of interest to 
note that Hucker, Conn, and Pederson were still collaborators 
with Breed on his taxonomic studies of microorganisms, indicat- 
ing that the subject was still a major concern of bacteriologists in 


1 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1910, p. 600, and 1912, p. 539. 

2 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1906, p. 109. 

3 NYSAES Bui. 313, 1909, Inoculation and lime as factors in growing alfalfa. H. 
A. Harding and J. K. Wilson, 25 pp. 

4 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, p. 17. 

5 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1938, p. 12. 

6 NYSAES 1930, Circ. No. 114, 6 pages. 

7 NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, pp. 17-18. 

s NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1910, p. 600, and 1912, p. 535. 

9 NYSAES Bui. 373. 1914, J. D. Brew. A comparison of the microscopical 
method and the plate method of counting bacteria in milk. 38 pages. 

10 NYSAES Bui. 413. Director's Report for 1915. pp. 632-633. 

— 292 


Personal communication, G. J. Hucker to P. J. Chapman. 

One Hundred Years of Agricultural Research at Cornell University, 1987. p. 


NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, p. 24. 

NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1937, p. 25. 

Howard E. Babcock was State Leader of County Agents, 1916-1920, owned 

and operated a dairy farm, was active in state farming organizations 

including GLF (predecessor of Agway), and had considerable influence at 

Cornell, Albany, and with the New York State Health Department. 

Hucker Oral History, 1962, pp. 212-217. 

NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1919, p. 13. 

NYSAES Bui. Tech. Bui. 91, 1923, C. A. Darling, Methods of determining the 

number of micro organisms in tomato products, p. 72. 

NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1931, pp. 25-26. 

Hucker Oral History, 1962, p. 80. 

One Hundred Years of Agricultural Research at Cornell University, 1987, pp. 


NYSAES Ann. Rpt. 1930, p. 33. 

Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, pp. 28-30. 

Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 31. 


Chemistry has been an important component of the 
Station's program since the first years of its existence. 
Director Sturtevant, although not a chemist, recognized 
the need for such expertise and hired Babcock in 1883 and pro- 
vided him with an assistant chemist in 1885. They investigated 
the chemical components of various diets being tested on dairy 
cows by the Director. The second director, Collier, was a chemist 
and was instrumental in securing the fertilizer inspection pro- 
gram for the Station in 1890, which included funds for a new 
chemistry building and staff to conduct the work. The next three 
directors were also chemists and supported chemical research but 
without reductions of other research programs. 

The diverse nature of the several Station activities was first given 
official recognition in 1896 when Director Jordan reported the 
results of research activities in five departments: Horticulture, 
Vegetable Pathology, Chemistry, Entomology and Animal Pro- 
duction. 1 There follows in this chapter the history of the Chemis- 
try Department/Division through 1945 when all chemists were 
transferred to the new Food Science and Technology Department. 
Also included in this chapter is an account of the unique and 
short-lived Division of Biochemistry. 

Biochemistry (1920-1927): One of the actions taken by Jordan 
during his final year in office, was the recognition of Biochemis- 
try as a Division. Rudolph J. Anderson, who had been a member 
of the Chemistry staff since 1911, was placed in charge of the new 
unit, while W. L. Kulp, who had been a staff member since 1917, 
became an Assistant in the new Division. The first report of this 
Division appeared in the 1920 Annual Report 2 and consisted of a 
12-line summary of Technical Bulletin 79 entitled, "A study of the 
inosite phosphoric acids." 3 

Biochemistry investigations at the Station actually began when 
Director Jordan brought Anderson to Geneva to research poultry 
metabolism. At that time, the Station had a small respirator, 
perhaps the first at any Experiment Station in the country 4 

— 294— 

Jordan was trained in biochemistry and nutrition and expected 
Anderson to conduct studies on poultry metabolism. Later, 
Anderson became involved with studies on pigments in grapes 
and other plant chemistry. 

Anderson and his assistant conducted research on two principal 
projects in 1921; namely, the analyses and composition of corn 
pollen, and the metabolism and respiration exchange of poultry 
during vitamin starvation. In subsequent years, the program was 
expanded to include studies on: the phytosterols of plant oils, 
including corn, cottonseed, and linseed oils; the chemistry of the 
pigments occurring in grape; the phytosterols in the endosperms 
of corn, wheat, and grapes; the amounts of sugars present in 
different varieties of grape; and the kinds of carbohydrates that 
are stored in the grape stems and buds during the dormant 
period. This last project was undertaken in the hope of account- 
ing for differences in winter hardiness in various grape varieties. 
The results of most of this research were published in technical 
journals that are cited in the 1921-1927 Station Annual Reports. 

Hucker gave an enlightening account of Anderson as a man and 
as a scientist. He described him as a gentleman's gentleman who 
was always polite but somewhat aloof. He always walked with a 
cane or umbrella and was neatly dressed. He and his wife social- 
ized with "the higher echelons of Geneva society." On the other 
hand, he was well respected by his peers for his research. He was 
a pioneer in the micro-chemistry of plant pigments and devel- 
oped many of the basic techniques widely used by others. 5 

Anderson took a sabbatical leave at Yale University from October 
1, 1926, to September 30, 1927. He spent the year studying the 
chemical composition of the tubercle bacillus. While there, he was 
offered and accepted a full professorship in chemistry at Yale. On 
September 30, 1927, he resigned from the Station. Thus, ended the 
Division of Biochemistry. 

Some biochemical studies, however, were continued by members 
of the Chemistry Division over the next 18 years. These included 
research on pigments found in grapes. Another was a study 
designed to produce tobacco with a high nicotine content to be 
used for the production of nicotine insecticide dusts. Analyses 
made of tobacco produced in early cultural tests gave disappoint- 
ing results, for the nicotine content ranged from only 1.19 to 1.64 
per cent. By 1927, however, it was found that tobaccos could be 
produced having a nicotine content in the dried leaves ranging 
from four to six per cent. This result was achieved by use of 


certain varieties of two species of tobacco, Nicotiana rustica and 
N. tobacum, and by removing the flowering tips ("topping") 6 of 
the plants. 7 By that time, however, entomologists and plant 
pathologists had concluded that pesticides applied as sprays 
gave better results than dusts against the total disease and insect 
complex. Tobacco dusts were to see little, and eventually, no use 
in commercial agriculture. 

Chemistry (1896-1945): The Station was first designated to carry 
out the provisions of an inspection law in 1890. This required 
the Division to analyze samples of commercial fertilizers being 
sold in New York. The scope of work was enlarged later to 
include the analysis of farm-animal food stuffs. The 1917 An- 
nual Report stated that the inspection work "requires a large 
share of the attention of six chemists." Including one scientist on 
leave, the total chemistry staff numbered nine persons in 1917. 
Studies were also conducted on the composition of lime sulfur as 
it was variously prepared by growers and industry for use as a 
fungicide and insecticide, and what occurs, chemically, when 
lime sulfur is combined with lead arsenate. 

During this same period and in a different project, the Station at 
this time maintained a small herd of goats which gave the chem- 
ists an opportunity to compare the composition of milk derived 
from goats and cows. 

Over the Thatcher years from 1921 to 1927, most of the Chemis- 
try Division's efforts were spent in the inspection of fertilizers 
and feeding stuffs. However, by 1927 some research was being 
conducted on the chemistry of proteins with special attention 
being given to casein and gelatin, and to the chemistry of various 
insecticides and fungicides. Of special interest was the brief 
reference made in the 1927 Annual Report to studies on the 
"toxic residues on sprayed fruit." This is an early reference to the 
spray residue problem that was to become of great concern to 
the divisions of Entomology, Botany, and Chemistry. An Act to 
prevent fraud in the sale of Paris Green insecticide and funding 
for work in this area was made in a special state appropriation 
starting in 1920. s This work was to become a major segment of 
the Chemistry Division program and was conducted in coopera- 
tion with the entomologists and plant pathologists. 

L. L. Van Slyke, who had served as head of the Chemistry Divi- 
sion since 1890, retired in February 1929. The division's pro- 
gram, at the time of his departure, may be described as follows: 
A majority of the staff was engaged in regulatory work, con- 

296 — - 

Chemistry Building designed for 
analyzing fertilizer and pesticide 
samples collected by inspectors. 

sisting of the analysis of samples of commercial fertilizers, 
animal food stuffs, and pesticides for the State Department of 
Agriculture and Markets. However, a strong research program 
was being conducted in the field of dairy chemistry Studies of 
residue problems that had arisen in connection with the use of 
pesticides on horticultural crops were also being conducted. 

Director Hedrick paid special tribute to Van Slyke in 1929 as 
follows: "...he has long been one of the leaders in research in 
dairy chemistry. His colleagues know that it was largely due to 
his work that this Station early attained and has long held pres- 
tige in the dairy world. Van Slyke should be remembered by the 
farmers of New York State also for his organization and supervi- 
sion of the chemical inspection of commercial fertilizers and 
feeding stuffs. This was one of his first tasks upon taking charge 
of the Chemical Division at this Station, and so well was the 
work planned that the organization and the methods Van Slyke 
employed became at once models for similar work in other 
institutions,... at a time when research in agriculture received 
scant support from farmers in this State, Van Slyke's work in the 
inspection of commercial fertilizers and feeding stuffs, better 
than any other effort of the Station, brought this institution to the 
notice of New York farmers and won their hearty support." 9 

The division underwent some important changes in both direc- 
tors and leadership over the following five years. Thus, it was 
served by three heads. The first of these was J. J. Williman. He 
was appointed to the staff April 1, 1929, but remained only a 
year and a half or until October 1, 1930. Williman was succeeded 
by D. C. Carpenter, who had been a member of the local division 
since 1922. On June 1, 1933, the director decided to transfer 
Carpenter to the Dairy Division to head up a dairy chemistry 


Then, on October 1, 1933, D. K. Tressler was appointed head of the 
Chemistry Division. After he became head, work in this field was 
continued and expanded. Attention was given to determinations 
of the varieties of fruits and vegetables best suited for freezing, the 
chemical and bacteriological changes taking place in the frozen 
product, and the general adaptability of this method for keeping 
foods. Some of the earlier programs of the division were com- 
bined; namely, the analyses of samples of fertilizer, animal food 
products, and pesticides for regulatory purposes and research on 
pesticides. However, the dominant part of the division's program 
soon became concerned with studies on fruits and vegetables and 
products derived from them. More specifically work was con- 
ducted on fruit and vegetable juices, fermented fruit juices (wine- 
making), and determination of the vitamin C. 

The heads and staffs of the Vegetable Crops and Chemistry Divi- 
sions first became acquainted with Tressler in 1931 when the 
Station and the Birdseye Laboratory undertook some cooperative 
work. The project involved was an exploration of the future use of 
the quick-freezing method developed by Birdseye for the preserva- 
tion of fruits and vegetables. Hedrick visited Tressler in Gloucester, 
Massachusetts at the Birdseye research laboratory in 1933 and soon 
after offered him the headship of the Chemistry Division. 10 

Tressler 's coming appears to have been satisfactory for him and 
the Station for he stayed here 10 years and developed a strong and 
diversified divisional program. Also, he had a rather remarkable 
publication record during his nine years at the Station, particularly 
in view of his administrative duties as head of the Chemistry 
Division. It included two Station bulletins (the first year, 15,000 
copies of Bui 690 on food preservation by freezing were requested 
and distributed), one Farm Research article, three circulars, 57 
journal articles," and one technical bulletin. 

At the end of Hedrick's tenure (January 15, 1938), the division was 
continuing to conduct work in the three areas identified earlier. By 
this time, however, studies on fruits and vegetables and products 
derived from them had become the dominant research effort of the 
division. This included pectin and pectin enzyme studies, and 
investigations dealing with the various aspects of the preservation 
of fruits and vegetables by freezing. 

No account of the pre-Food Science and Technology Department of 
Chemistry activities at Geneva would be complete without record- 
ing the contributions of one of its most productive scientists, 
Zoltan I. Kertesz. He came to the Station in 1928 after completing 


his undergraduate and graduate studies in Hungary and Sweden. 
At Geneva, he conducted basic work on the structure of plant 
pectins and on the enzymes that degrade them. These studies led 
to the use of enzymes to facilitate the clarification of fruit juices, a 
practice now widely used by the food industry. They also resulted 
in production methods for firmer processed tomato products and a 
technology for improved juice textures. Kertesz took early retire- 
ment in 1962 to become chief of the Food Science and Technology 
Branch, Nutrition Division, Food and Agriculture Organization 
(FAO) of the United Nations. He returned to the United States and 
served as secretary of the Protein Advisory Group of the same 
organization in 1968, shortly prior to his death that same year. 

Much of the division's work on pesticides was done in cooperation 
with Entomology. Important new problems had been created at 
this time through the establishment of official tolerance limits for 
arsenic, lead and fluorine residues occurring on fruits and veg- 
etables at harvest. The Chemistry Division's part in the coopera- 
tive studies undertaken consisted of the analysis of samples of 
produce to determine the levels of these pesticide contaminants. 
This was done for survey purposes and to determine the effective- 
ness of various cleaning methods available to reduce these depos- 
its to acceptable levels. Also undertaken were studies on the 
chemistry of the calcium arsenates. Hopefully, some safe and 
effective form of this class of pesticide could be identified. If 
found, it could be used in place of lead arsenate, the standard 
arsenical then in use, and thereby eliminate lead from spray 
residues. The results of this research, which were encouraging, 
were published in 1935. 12 Additional information on later studies 
on pesticide residues is provided in the Food Science and Technol- 
ogy chapter. 

Members of the Chemistry Department made a significant contri- 
bution to pest control via an informal collaborative project on 
petroleum oil spray oils including P. }. Chapman from Entomology, 
A. W. Avens and G. W. Pearce from Chemistry, and G. Oberle from 
Pomology. They conducted extensive laboratory and field research 
studies on the mode of activity and composition of effective and 
safe horticultural spray oils. 13 This work resulted in specifications 
for horticultural petroleum spray oils that are still followed in the 

Even though Tressler would have been a strong candidate for 
heading the new Food Science and Technology Department, he 
chose to resign January 31, 1943. He was very unhappy with the 
way Ladd appointed Heinicke without consulting Geneva staff 

— 299 

and department heads. 14 As it turned out, there was little or no 
collaboration between the Food Science and Technology Depart- 
ment chemists and non-food science faculty. The problem was 
solved when Director Barton (1960-1982) encouraged the employ- 
ment of chemists or other needed specialists by other depart- 
ments. The Chemistry Department, as such, was dissolved in 
1945 with establishment of the Department of Food Science and 


1 NYSAES 15th . Ann. Rpt. 1897, pp. 24-32. 

2 NYSAES 15th . Ann. Rpt. 1920, p. 16. 

3 NYSAES Tech. Bui. 79, pp. 22, Concerning inosite phosphoric acids, I. 
Synthesis of phytic acid. II. Comparison of inosite phosphoric acid of plants. 
R. J. Anderson, pp. 22. 

4 Hucker Oral History, 1982, p. 181. 

5 Hucker Oral History, 1982, pp. 180-184. 

6 It may be if interest to the reader that at the time this was written (1996), 
there is much interest in the nicotine content of tobacco regarding its 
addictive properties. The junior author did his Masters thesis on a study of 
an insect pest of tobacco in Virginia in 1938-1939 and recalls that "topping" 
was the accepted practice because it "improved the quality and market value 
of the tobacco leaves." 

7 NYSAES Tech. Bui. 562, 1929. R. C. Collison, J. D. Harlan, and L. R. Streeter, 
High-nicotine Tobacco, 19 pages. 

8 NYSAES 18th . Ann. Rpt. 1899, pp. 237-248. 

9 NYSAES 48th . Ann. Rpt. 1929, pp. 14-15. 

10 Tressler Oral History, 1964, pp. 39-41. 

11 Tressler had a ready outlet for publications in the then new Food Research 
journal. George Hucker was one the three editors and reports that the editors 
frequently went to Tressler when they needed manuscripts of high quality. 
"Dr. Tressler always had something. People have criticized the early Food 
Research journal as being all Dr. Tressler in the first couple of volumes." 

12 NYSAES Tech. Bui. 234, 1936, pp. 16. 

13 Additional information is provided in Chapter XII (Entomology). 

14 Tressler Oral History, 1964, pp. 65-66. 

-300 — 

Dairying and Related 
Animal Research 

As reported in Chapter II, dairying research was estab- 
lished in the very first years of the Station's existence 
when Director Sturtevant began feeding studies on 
dairy cattle. At the same time, chemist S. M. Babcock conducted 
chemical analyses of diets used in these studies and also on milk. 
According to reports on his later activities at Wisconsin, there 
was an unexpected correlation between some diets and the 
responses in the test animals. 1 Babcock also worked on and had 
made considerable progress in developing a method to determine 
the butterfat content of milk before resigning in 1887 to accept a 
professorship at the University of Wisconsin. In fact, he devel- 
oped this work far enough that Dahlberg found an old Babcock 
tester in the attic of the Chemistry building when he came to 
Geneva in 1921. Babcock completed his work on his test method 
for butterfat determination in only one year at Wisconsin and 
introduced it in 1888. It soon became widely used and famous 
because it eliminated fraud in buttermilk claims. 2 

Sturtevant's successor, Director Peter Collier, continued to em- 
phasize research on animal agriculture and expanded the work to 
include studies of swine and poultry. Dairy cattle, milk, and by 
products, however, continued to be a major part of the division's 
research efforts until all animal investigations were transferred to 
Ithaca in 1943. Thus, efforts in the general field of animal agricul- 
ture were in two general areas: dairying (milking cows and dairy 
products) and animal husbandry (other animals and poultry). 

When Jordan became director in 1896, he made an appraisal of 
existing investigations and programs and concluded that the 
Station's activities were too diverse in terms of available re- 
sources. He decided that emphasis should be given to the two 
major segments of New York agriculture, which he judged could 

— 301 

An early laboratory in the "Dairy 
Building" (Sturtevant Hall). 

profit most from research. These were dairying and horticulture. 
Some of the other projects, however, were continued for many 
years. Jordan was successful in obtaining funds in 1896 to build a 
"dairy" building to house the existing programs including dairy- 
ing. In fact the building, which was ultimately named "Sturtevant 
Hall" in honor of the first director, was commonly referred to as 
the "Dairy" building for many years even though it housed all 
Station departments for a number of years. 

Animal Husbandry (1896-1929): In the 1896 Annual Report, the 
First Assistant, W. P. Wheeler, wrote that the Department's activi- 
ties in 1896 represented a continuation of the program conducted 
in 1895. 3 It consisted of feeding studies on the station's dairy 
herd, on cross-bred swine, and on laying hens, plus a discussion 
on silos and ensilage. In subsequent years, Wheeler became 
occupied, primarily, with poultry feeding tests. These involved 
laying hens, chicks, capons, ducks, and ducklings. Over the years 
1896 to 1904, he published seven Station bulletins 4 in this field. 
Interestingly, he did not publish another Station bulletin until 
1919. 5 It was entitled Some studies relating to calcium metabolism (in 
poultry). A six-line "report" appeared in the 1912 Station Annual 
Report, 18 lines in 1918, and one page in Jordan's final Annual 
Report in 1920. No doubt this de-emphasis of animal husbandry 
was a result of Jordan's belief that the Station should concentrate 
on dairying and horticulture. Jordan served as project leader in 
nutritional studies conducted on dairy cows from 1897 to 1901. 
Increasingly thereafter, administrative responsibilities apparently 
prevented him from becoming directly involved in the research 
program of this unit. 

— 302— 

Wheeler continued the work in this division from 1921 through 
1929. He had been a member of the staff since 1888. He pursued 
his poultry feeding and breeding studies and worked on a project 
entitled "a study of soil requirements." Only brief summary 
statements were published on Wheeler's findings and these are 
found in the Station Annual Reports for 1921-1927. 

Director Hedrick, in his first Annual Report (1929), stated that the 
Division of Animal Husbandry (then known as "Poultry Hus- 
bandry") was "discontinued" in 1929, and that W P. Wheeler 
retired June 30 1929. He also announced that the Division of 
Agronomy had been discontinued, and that Collison and Harlan 
had been transferred to the Division of Horticulture. 6 It may be of 
interest that Hedrick noted in his next Annual Report that the 
work of these divisions "has been transferred to the State College 
of Agriculture." 7 Thus, all animal husbandry at the Station was 
discontinued in 1929. 

Dairying (1898-1943): G. A. Smith served from 1898 to 1920 as 
Dairy Expert, and as Chief in Research (Dairying) from January 1, 
1921, until he retired October 30, 1921. According to his successor, 
A. C. Dahlberg, Smith was not well known among dairy research- 
ers even though "he was a formidable individual who, in his own 
way, carried on a number of activities of much value to the dairy 
industry of this state." 8 Smith was trained in the ministry but 
worked on a dairy farm due to ill health and soon became a 
promoter of advanced ideas before he came to the Station. Al- 
though he was not well qualified to originate and plan research, 
he was excellent in suggesting problems that needed attention. 
He also lent support to those who were developing his original 
ideas even though he seldom received credit. This attribute no 
doubt led to the remarkable collaboration between Dairying and 
the Station bacteriologists and chemists. It was also under Smith's 
supervision that the dairy herd was one of first herds in the 
United States to become free of bovine tuberculosis while it was 
being maintained as a diseased herd. During 1898 and 1899, the 
Station purchased 17 carefully selected mature Jersey cows from 
several New York dairy farms. One of these showed symptoms of 
tuberculosis in 1900 and was destroyed. Eight of the remaining 
tested positive. H. A. Harding, G. A. Smith, and V. A. Moore 
(New York State Veterinary College) decided to try the new 
"Bang" method of eliminating the disease by isolating all animals 
testing positive. These cows bore disease-free calves, which were 
immediately separated from diseased animals. The milk was 
made safe for human consumption by pasteurization. By 1905, 
the Station had 30 healthy cows. 9 The diseased animals had been 

—303 — 

1. Section of Dairy Laboratory; 2. 
Milk Cooler; 3. The Head of the 
Herd; 4. A Silver Medal Cow; 5. 
Testing Experimental Ice Cream; 
6. The Station Herd. 

slowly eliminated and replaced by healthy animals raised in the 
herd until the herd was disease free. 10 The common practice at that 
time was to slaughter all infected animals, which was disastrous 
for many farmers. The Station herd was also noteworthy because 
milk production per cow in the early 1920s was double that of the 
average New York cow. 

In spite of Mr. Smith's many abilities, it is likely that Director 
Thatcher recognized Smith's lack of scientific leadership and 
sought a replacement with a strong academic background. He 
chose A. C. Dahlberg, a former graduate student of Thatcher's in 


"...there was a special merit 
in the research set-up as it 
existed in Geneva from the 
standpoint of a dairy 
department and from the 
viewpoint of the cooperation 
from scientists. The herd 
was located just a few 
hundred feet from the rear 
of the dairy building... 
The feed of the cattle, their 
management, and care 
could he controlled and 
held constant over a period 
of months and years. " 

biochemistry who had majored in dairy and animal husbandry as 
an undergraduate. Dahlberg also was born on a dairy farm in 
Wisconsin, had been an instructor in dairy manufacturing at the 
University of Wisconsin, a creamery extension specialist at North 
Dakota State University, and for two years was superintendent of a 
co-operative creamery just before coming to Geneva. Director 
Thatcher asked Dahlberg to take two or three months to study 
what had been done in the dairy field at Geneva and Ithaca and 
gather the available tuberculosis data on the Experiment Station 
herd. The latter was important because, as indicated earlier, it was 
one of the first herds in the United States to become free of the 
disease while it was being maintained as a diseased herd. 

When Dahlberg became head of the Division of Dairying in 1921, 
work was then carried out in three areas: dairy herd management, 
dairy products and inspection of glassware used in conducting 
butterfat and bacteriological determinations in milk and cream. 
During his years at Geneva from 1921 to 1943, Dahlberg compiled 
an impressive record of personal achievements and energized the 
department into a highly respected unit. He continued close 
collaboration with and support for chemists and bacteriologists 
working on dairy problems. As promised, Thatcher provided two 
people, J. C. Marquardt and J. C. Hening, to assist him. Dahlberg 
considered the Station to be an ideal place to conduct dairy re- 
search, not equaled anywhere in the United States. "I learned that 
there was a special merit in the research set-up as it existed in 
Geneva from the standpoint of a dairy department and from the 
viewpoint of the cooperation from scientists. The herd was located 
just a few hundred feet from the rear of the dairy building.. .The 
feed of the cattle, their management, and care could be controlled 
and held constant over a period of months and years. This made it 
possible to carry on the work with the greatest ease on such topics 
as the sanitation of milk, the control of its bacterial count, and the 
source of a milk supply of known history for the use in the manu- 
facture of dairy products or in the processing of milk itself. I think 
that this arrangement was unique in our educational institutions, 
and to the best of my knowledge there is nothing that approaches 
it, even to the present time (1962), when one considers that out- 
standing men in both chemistry and bacteriology were available 
for cooperation on problems in the Dairy Department and on 
whose projects those in the Dairy Department could assist wher- 
ever possible or desirable. There was an unusually favorable 
environment toward the production of successful research." 11 

Dahlberg's accomplishments while at Geneva support his very 
favorable assessment of the Geneva research climate. In addition 


to serving as Head of the Dairy Division, he published approxi- 
mately four scientific publications a year and was awarded five 
patents based on his work at Geneva. We mention here several of 
his important contributions to dairying. They represent the value 
of combining basic science with practical experience to find solu- 
tions to important problems. 

An early example of this was Dahlberg's solution to a problem of a 
greenish black discoloration of much of the chocolate ice cream 
manufactured and held in storage in New York State. He deter- 
mined that it was caused by the reaction of the tannins in the 
chocolate with the rust of unpolished iron in the tin can ice cream 
containers to form iron tannate, a chemical that had been used to 
make blue-green ink. 12 

Dahlberg's and Marquardt's discovery of a method for producing 
cream cheese without free water was patented and widely demon- 
strated to and adopted by commercial producers. Within three 
years, the production of this product in New York State doubled, 
whereas it had been constant in preceding years. 13 

Dahlberg and Marquardt showed that milk could be best clarified 
at very low temperatures rather than at the 90 F. used on farms and 
industrially. There were no clarifiers available for cold milk at that 
time. In cooperation with manufacturers of straining materials, 
suitable cold milk filters were developed and made available. 
These were adapted for use on farms. 14 

In 1930, Marquardt and Dahlberg published a bulletin on electric 
cooling of milk on the farm. 15 They demonstrated that the process 
was both advantageous and economical. When a cooler was being 
constructed at Geneva by skilled labor, Dahlberg reported that 
several engineers from refrigeration companies came to Geneva to 
watch the construction. 16 The combination of cold milk filters with 
on-farm refrigeration contributed greatly to the quality of milk. 

Dahlberg cut microscopic sections of ice cream and sherbets at 
-20F. and examined them under these low temperatures to study 
textures. He believed that this was the first use of this technology 
to improve ice cream and other dairy product textures. As a result 
of these studies, the quality of water-ices and sherbets were much 
improved and soon became substantial products in the ice cream 
industry. 17 

Following the introduction of milking machines in the early 1900s, 
there was much interest in the influence of machine milking cows 


on the production of milk and the health of the cows. Earlier work 
had been reported by Smith and Harding. 18 In 1941, Dahlberg 
reported on the influence of length of time of milking by machine 
in relation to total milk production. He determined that cows 
milked by machine for only four minutes, instead of the usual 10 
minutes, maintained production as uniformly throughout the 
lactation period as by hand milking. These findings were wel- 
comed and quickly adopted by dairy farmers in 1941 when labor 

Dahlberg made several other discoveries and developments 
during his Geneva years which proved to have practical value for 
dairy farmers and the dairy product industries. At Ithaca, he 
continued to make contributions but became more and more 
involved in national and international activities. However, it is 
evident from a close reading of his 1962 Oral History that he 
considered his years at Geneva very important and that they 
contributed greatly to his very distinguished career. 

The program of the Dairy Division continued much the same 
through the Morrison, Hedrick, and Parrott administrations under 
Dahlberg's leadership. By 1937, the program consisted of the 
following sections: dairy-herd management studies based on the 
herd maintained at Geneva, goat milk studies, detection of the 
causes of off-flavors in milk, protein investigations centering on 
the casein and the possible industrial uses of such products, and 
the inspection of glassware offered for sale for determining the 
butterfat content or bacterial count of milk and cream. Major 
attention, also, was given to the production of various kinds of 
cheese — cheddar, limburger, and soft types — and to various 
problems encountered in their production. The goat milk studies 
were made in cooperation with workers in other states. 

Dahlberg's account of Geneva's standing in the dairy field made 
in 1962, two decades after his transfer to Ithaca, gives further 
evidence that he still had a strong loyalty to the Station. He made 
an interesting comment in relation to Morrison's appointment as 
Director of the Station in 1927. "It seemed to many that when 
Professor Morrison was brought to Geneva, it was done with the 
deliberate intent of making certain that the dairy work would 
remain at Geneva. We made no effort whatever to build a political 
following or to get other individuals to do so for us from the 
standpoint of the support of the work at Geneva. I say that from 
my own personal attitude and I'm not endeavoring to cover the 
thoughts of others." 20 Earlier, 21 he noted that during the many 
contacts he and others at Geneva had with dairy farmers and 


industry, "They were not of the type which led us into contact with 
legislators or individuals who were concerned in the promotion of 
projects and policies pertaining to the dairy industry. Looking back 
at the matter at this time, I think that we might be criticized for not 
having paid sufficient attention to cultivating interests which 
would have been of tremendous value in departmental preserva- 
tion and advancement." Obviously, Professor Dahlberg's move to 
Ithaca was not one of his choosing nor liking at the time nor later. 

Dahlberg provides some valuable perspectives on Station scientists 
and their contributions to dairying during the early and mid years 
of the Station's existence. 22 He noted that Robert S. Breed was "a 
particularly active bacteriologist in his several chosen fields of 
work." One of these was the taxonomy of bacteria (as reported in 
Chapter XVIII). Breed's contributions in the field of dairy bacteriol- 
ogy, particularly in respect to milk sanitation and cheese ripening, 
gave him an enviable reputation in both science and industry. 
Another contributor at that time was Van Slyke, head of the Divi- 
sion of Chemistry, whose interest was primarily in dairy chemistry. 
He did basic work on the chemistry of casein and on the changes 
occurring in cheese ripening. He developed a test for protein in 
milk. One of his associates developed a method for determining the 
pH of milk to identify infected udders, a procedure still in use in 
1962. Dalberg also commented that Breed and Van Slyke were 
active church and social workers. They and Thatcher and Mr. Smith 
taught classes and took leadership roles in church activities. Van 
Slyke with his full snow-white beard played Santa Claus for chil- 
dren at the annual Station Christmas parties. 

Dr. Dahlberg also gave a full account of a colorful member of the 
non-professional staff — herdsman William Casey. "Casey was a 
character all of his own. He was enthusiastic about everything that 
he did and he inherited natural wit and ability to entertain and it 
was appreciated by everyone. He was an old time fiddler for square 
dances... He played at many a farm meeting and particularly at 
sales of the New York State Jersey Cattle Club. ..Very few jersey 
breeders in New York State or vicinity did not know William Casey. 
Often they drove off US Highway 5 or 20 to come around to have a 
chat with Casey... There is one feature about Mr. Casey which I 
would like to mention even his closest friends, except for those who 
visited him in his home, never knew the situation. By the time I 
came to Geneva his wife was a complete invalid from arthritis and 
was fixed in a sitting position. He brought a hospital bed into the 
home and personally cared for her throughout a period of at least 
fifteen years before she passed away. Possibly he could never have 
stood up under it except for his ability to see the amusing side of 

—308 — - 

things. He bought her a very small lap dog which was her constant 
companion as she sat in the chair perfectly helpless. ...There was 
more to Casey than his wit and his friendly spirit." 23 Apparently 
Mr. Casey treated Directors the same as any employee. Director 
Jordan is reported to have delighted in telling how Casey had run 
him out of the barn with a pitchfork. 

The decision to transfer all dairy research to the New York State 
College in Ithaca in 1943 and make the Geneva Station a horticul- 
tural research center has been discussed in the directors' chapters. It 
fell to the new Director, Heinicke, to implement the order, which he 
did with dispatch. Dahlberg was transferred to Cornell at Ithaca as 
a full professor. D. C. Carpenter, J. C. Hening, and J. C. Marquardt 
were transferred to the Division of Chemistry. Marquardt resigned 
in 1944. The new Division of Food Science and Technology was 
established August 1, 1945, combining the Divisions of Bacteriology 
and Chemistry. D. C. Carpenter and J. C. Hening continued in the 
new division until their deaths in 1953 and 1955, respectively. 


' The authors failed to find any references in Station literature to an anomaly 
Babcock found between his chemical analyses of Sturtevant's diets and the 
responses of the animals. Much later at Wisconsin, Babcock convinced his 
dean to sponsor an experiment on young calves with three specific food 
diets and one combination diet. Very interesting results disclosed that there 
was a lack of unknown substances in one of the diets that caused deaths of 
calves and eventually their mothers on this diet. The missing substances 
were found to be vitamins, the first discovery of these chemicals. The story is 
told in detail in Paul De KruiP s book, Hunger Fighters, in chapter 9, Finder of 
the Hidden Hunger, Babcock. Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1928. 

2 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, pp. 3-4. 

3 NYSAES 15th Ann. Rpt. 1896, pp. 641-687. 

4 NYSAES Bulletins Nos. 106, 126, 149, 171, 242, 250, and 271. 
s NYSAES 38th Ann. Rpt. 1919, Bui. 468. 

6 NYSAES 48th Ann. Rpt. 1929, p. 9. 

7 NYSAES 49th Ann. Rpt. 1930, p. 11. 

8 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 4. 

" NYSAES Bulletin No. 277, pp. 78-109. 

10 NYSAES Bulletin No. 496, 1923, and Dahlberg Oral History, 1962: pp. 1-2. 

11 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, pp. 7-8. 

12 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 7. 

13 Cheese process, Application Serial 244922, filed 12/10/38, assigned to 
Cornell University, and NYSAES Tech. Bui. 226. 

14 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 10., NYSAES Tech. Bui. 111. 

15 NYSAES Bulletin No. 581. 

16 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 12. 

17 NYSAES Bulletin No. Ill, 1924, and Bulletin No. 536, 1926. 

18 NYSAES Bulletin No. 353, 1912, and Bulletin No. 654, 1935. 

19 NYSAES Bulletin No. 697, 1941, Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, pp. 15-16. 

20 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 34. 

21 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 29. 

22 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 16-20. 

23 Dahlberg Oral History, 1962, p. 18-20. 


As an Experiment Station designed specifically 
to serve the people of New York, much of our 
work revolves around solving problems of immediate 
concern to growers and processors in the very large 
and economically important fruit and vegetable 
processing industry. 

'■^''^^S^le^tss* -iV 

Yet, at the same time, we must balance this type of 
practical research with more basic studies to provide 
us with adequate background knowledge in a multi- 
plicity of 
subjects so 
that we are 
prepared to 
problems. " 


ISBN 0-9676507-1-2